Grandpa Higginbottom's Popcorn Balls

READY IN: 35mins
Recipe by Nancy Higginbottom

My family made these popcorn balls every year for did my father's family and his father's family before them. A real family tradition! I don't give them out anymore but still make them every year for friends and family. Serving size is for one batch but two brown paper shopping bags full of popped corn will make approximately 150 popcorn balls. Younger children should be very careful because they can burn their hands when making these. Teenagers are much more suited for the job! Enjoy!

Top Review by tabathanjeff

I made exactly as directed but did not like the tang from the vinegar. They are very sweet and tangy, just not my preference. The balls were soggy as well, but I think that is because my large bowl of popcorn and the instructors may not have been the same size. Thank you.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Mix vinegar, water and sugar in a large saucepan.
  2. Cook until brittle when dropped in cold water.
  3. Add butter and vanilla.
  4. Make sure you have bowls of ice water on the table, which has been covered with newspaper.
  5. Pour candy mixture over a very large bowl of popped corn.
  6. Stir mixture with a large wooden spoon.
  7. Coat hands with butter.
  8. (This part gets messy and older children love it!) Working quickly, form balls with your hands.
  9. If you burn your hand, put directly in ice water.

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