Kids of all ages enjoy these old-fashioned holiday treats. One batch goes a long way. —Cathy Karges, Hazen, North Dakota
- 7 quarts popped popcorn
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Food coloring, optional
- Place popcorn in a large baking pan; keep warm in a 200° oven.
- In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, water and salt. Cook over medium heat until a candy thermometer reads 235° (soft-ball stage).
- Remove from the heat. Add the butter, vanilla and food coloring if desired; stir until butter is melted. Immediately pour over popcorn and stir until evenly coated.
- When mixture is cool enough to handle, quickly shape into 3-in. balls, dipping hands in cold water to prevent sticking. Yield: 20 servings.
Originally published as Traditional Popcorn Balls in Taste of Home December/January 1999, p54
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