"If we hope to create a non-violent world where respect and kindness replace fear and hatred, we must begin with how we treat each other at the begining of life. For that is where our deepest patterns are set. From these roots grow fear and alienation or love and trust."
Suzanne Arms

Friday, October 28, 2011

Popcorn Balls (with Candy Corn)

So I made these the other day for a Halloween party.  I loved them so much that I made them again a few days later and will make them again in a few days for another Halloween party.  
A few people asked me for the recipe so I figured I'd just put it in a post to share with everyone!

These are SO good . . . addictive actually (meaning that once I start eating them it is hard to stop).  I think it is the candy corn.  I like candy corn OK, but I don't like LOVE it.  But when you eat it in these popcorn balls you don't specifically taste the candy corn (which was surprising to me).  You get more of just the sweet flavor and texture and it is SOOO good!!

There are several different variations you can do with this, so I'll list all the options and you can play around with it.  This makes a fairly small batch, so for a party (or a large family) I double or triple it.

  • 5-6 cups of popped popcorn (you will use less if you add more 'extras' more with fewer extras)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter
  • 3 cups of small marshmallows
  • 1 cup of candy corn
  • A few cubes of caramel (or if you don't have that you can add a squirt of caramel syrup or maybe sprinkle in some brown sugar)
  • 1 heaping Tbsp of peanut butter
  • 1 cup of chopped peanuts
*** You can make it with just the top 4 ingredients if that is all you have or if you just want to keep it simple.  However, I like to melt some caramel in with the marshmallows and butter to add a bit more sweetness.  With my 2nd batch I added the peanut butter and the caramel and it was EVEN BETTER!!  I haven't tried the peanuts in it yet but I would guess that they rock.

my 2nd batch with added peanut butter . . . yummmm

For the popcorn . . . you can use any kind of popcorn (I think that leftover movie popcorn would probably be SO good).  Microwave popcorn would be easy but I pop mine on the stove.  If you make it on the stove, I use a pot and do 1/4 cup of oil (olive, coconut etc) and 1/2 cup of popcorn. This gives you enough for the popcorn balls and some leftover to snack on.  I added just a touch of brown sugar when it started popping (not enough to make it full kettle corn but just to add a bit of sweetness) then I did salt it after it finished.  One thing to keep in mind . . . when measuring out your popcorn for this recipe, pay special attention that you don't include any unpopped kernels . . . they are not fun to eat in popcorn balls . . . very hard on the teeth!!

In a large pot, melt butter, marshmallows and the caramel and peanut butter if you choose to add those (keep in mind the caramel takes longer to melt).  Once everything is melty and gooey, remove it from the heat and dump in your popcorn and candy corn (and peanuts if you add them).  You can also dump the sauce over your popcorn in a separate bowl, it works just as well.  Mix it up till it is all covered.  It is hot so I will wait a minute before I start shaping it into balls.  Put them on wax paper to dry (they are sticky).

To shape the balls it is important to wet your hands with cold water or it will be very messy and sticky and impossible to work with!  I find I have to wet my hands after every few balls I shape (and don't forget to make sure that candy corn is included in every one).  When I had the kids helping me I gave them a bowl of cold water so they could keep dipping their hands.  Pack them nice and firm or they will fall apart when you set them down to harden.

I like to make them about the size of a golf ball, that way they are more snack size (less waste if someone starts to eat one and then doesn't finish it . . . however rare that may be ;0)  And it is a good size for the kids to help make too.  This recipe above made me about 20 or so golf ball sized balls.

Let them sit for a bit to cool and harden and then ENJOY!!

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