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Basic Popcorn Balls

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Fresh and homemade popcorn balls are a sweet treat, and easy to make. The trick is to make sure to butter or oil your hands when making them into balls.

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Rate this recipe 4.6/5 (10 Votes)

Ingredients

  • 9 cups plain popped popcorn
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1/2 stick, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Details

Servings 9
Preparation time 20mins
Cooking time 30mins
Adapted from ziplist.com

Preparation

Step 1

Coat a large heatproof bowl with butter, vegetable oil, or cooking spray and place popcorn in the bowl.

Place sugar, corn syrup, water, vinegar, and salt in a medium saucepan and stir to combine. Place over high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Bring to a boil and cook until mixture registers 260°F on a candy/fat thermometer, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla until melted and smooth.

Immediately drizzle sugar mixture over popcorn and stir continuously with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom of the bowl, until popcorn is thoroughly coated and cool enough to handle, about 3 minutes.

Using buttered or oiled hands, tightly press mixture (it may still be a bit warm) into 3-inch rounds. Place on waxed or parchment paper to cool completely, about 15 to 20 minutes.

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