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Candy Cane Popcorn Balls

 Candy Cane Popcorn Balls
When I was a little girl, my mother and I made these popcorn balls for family and friends at Christmas. Now my husband and I carry on the tradition, turning out more than 250 each December-and still our list keeps growing!
24 ServingsPrep: 15 min. Cook: 30 min. + cooling


  • 4 quarts popped popcorn
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 24 miniature candy canes


  • Place popcorn in a large greased bowl or roasting pan; set aside. In
  • a small bowl, combine the water, baking soda and vanilla; set aside.
  • In a heavy saucepan, combine corn syrup and butter; heat over medium
  • heat until butter is melted. Add sugar; cook and stir until sugar is
  • dissolved and mixture comes to a boil. Cook and stir until a candy
  • thermometer reaches 230° (thread stage), about 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla mixture (mixture will foam) until
  • blended. Immediately pour over popcorn, stirring to coat evenly.
  • Cool for about 5 minutes, stirring several times.
  • When cool enough to handle, firmly shape with buttered hands into
  • 2-in. balls. Insert straight end of candy cane in the center of each
  • ball. Yield: 2 dozen.

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Candy Cane Popcorn Balls (continued)

Nutritional Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 179 calories, 4 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 5 mg cholesterol, 155 mg sodium, 37 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein.