How to Make Popcorn Balls

There are just four easy steps to making the classic childhood treat.

For many of us, popcorn balls are a classic treat that was an essential part of childhood. Often shared as a classroom snack — or a goodie received at Halloween, Valentine’s Day or birthday parties — these gooey sweets are actually quite simple to make. Made with just a few basic ingredients, you can transform simple popcorn into a crunchy snack worthy of a party!

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1 Pop Popcorn

You’ll begin by popping popcorn either on the stovetop, with an air-popper or in the microwave. Place the plain, unbuttered and unsalted popcorn in a large baking or roasting pan with sides. You’ll need approximately 16 cups of popped popcorn.

If you’re popping microwave popcorn, you’ll need to pop two regular sized bags to get 16 cups. Make sure you’re using a plain (non-butter) version.

2 Make Marshmallow Coating

In a medium saucepan, melt together 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, 1 1/3 cup of granulated sugar and 1/2 cup of light corn syrup. Stir over medium heat and melt together. Once all of the butter has melted, add 1 (10 oz) package of marshmallows and melt. Reduce heat to medium low and continually stir until all the marshmallows are melted. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

If you would like to make popcorn balls a specific color, add gel food coloring to the warm marshmallow coating and stir together, adding more coloring until desired shade is reached.

3 Coat Popcorn

Pour the warm marshmallow sauce evenly over the popcorn, making sure to coat as much popcorn as possible. Use potholders to protect your hands — the saucepan will be hot.

Using a couple of spatulas or rubber scrapers, toss the popcorn and the marshmallow sauce together, making sure all of the popcorn is evenly coated with the sauce.

The marshmallow sauce is VERY sticky. It’s helpful to spray your utensils with non-stick cooking spray to help the popcorn and marshmallow sauce coat evenly.

4 Shape Popcorn Balls

Once the popcorn and marshmallow sauce have been well combined, begin shaping the popcorn balls. Place a large piece of waxed paper on your work surface. Grab a big handful of coated popcorn in each of your hands and firmly press the popcorn together making baseball-sized balls. Place the balls on the waxed paper to set and cool.

It is very helpful to spray your hands with non-stick spray before shaping the balls. This will help the popcorn slide off easily and prevent your hands from getting overly sticky.

For an extra treat, add your favorite candies to your shaped popcorn balls. Candy corn, candy-coated chocolate candies, and sandwich cookies are just a few favorites that are the perfect addition to popcorn balls. Be sure to wait to add the candies or extras to the popcorn balls until after they are shaped. Adding the candies to the hot marshmallow sauce will cause them to melt and create a super-sticky situation.

About delightful.e.made

Erin, the “E” in Delightful E Made, delights in sharing the best of all that she cooks, bakes, creates and loves.  She has a true joy for being in the kitchen and making things for the people around her.  Follow her on Facebok, Pinterest and Instagram.