My family and I had great fun making these cute popcorn balls for Christmas this year. These are traditional treats, and although the process is a little messy it is worth it. You can also experiment with different flavor extracts to make each taste a little different. We made the green balls vanilla flavored and red ones peppermint flavored.
Red and Green Popcorn Ball Recipe
- 12 cups unsalted popped corn
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon flavoring we used vanilla and peppermint
- 4-5 drops of food coloring
- Pop the popcorn. We use air popped, but you could also pop it on the stove.
- Combine the sugar, corn syrup, water, butter, and salt. The syrup needs to be cooked until it reaches 270 degrees. We didn't have a candy thermometer so we let it come to a boil and then cooked it for about 2 minutes more until it started to thicken and cling to the spoon.
- Remove it from the heat and add the flavoring and food coloring.
- Pour the syrup over the popcorn slowly, stirring constantly. This step works better with two people, one to stir and one to pour.
- Let the popcorn cool a little bit, and then use buttered hands to firmly squish the popcorn into a ball shape. We had popcorn ball shapers from Jolly Time, but we found that we still needed to use our hands to make it all stick together. We used about 1 cup of popcorn per ball, and the recipe made six.