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Traditional Popcorn Balls Recipe
Traditional Popcorn Balls Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Traditional Popcorn Balls Recipe

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Kids of all ages enjoy these old-fashioned holiday treats. One batch goes a long way. —Cathy Karges, Hazen, North Dakota
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 20 min.
MAKES:20 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 20 min.
MAKES: 20 servings

Ingredients

  • 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

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 each) equals 177 calories, 6 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 5 mg cholesterol, 203 mg sodium, 31 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 1 g protein.

Directions

  1. Place popcorn in a large baking pan; keep warm in a 200° oven.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. When mixture is cool enough to handle, quickly shape into 3-in. balls, dipping hands in cold water to prevent sticking. Yield: 20 servings.
Editor's Note: We recommend that you test your candy thermometer before each use by bringing water to a boil; the thermometer should read 212°. Adjust your recipe temperature up or down based on your test.
Originally published as Traditional Popcorn Balls in Taste of Home December/January 1999, p54

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 each) equals 177 calories, 6 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 5 mg cholesterol, 203 mg sodium, 31 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 1 g protein.

Reviews for Traditional Popcorn Balls

AVERAGE RATING
   (12)
RATING DISTRIBUTION
5 Star
 (12)
4 Star
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MY REVIEW
Reviewed Sep. 2, 2015

"When I was a kid back in the 60's and 70's the lunch ladies would make these treats for us on holidays or special fairs and they would flavor them with Kool-aid (the unsweetened envelopes)--usually orange or raspberry!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jun. 23, 2015

"The hardest part of this recipe is waiting for the popcorn to cool! I think my teenagers ate half of the hot popcorn mix before we could even form them into the classic popcorn ball. As a volunteer food editor for Taste of Home, I love re-discovering old classic recipes!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Nov. 2, 2014

"I haven't had a home-made popcorn ball in 50 years. My mother use to make them and they seemed so difficult. I just made this recipe and it was so easy and tasted wonderful."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Dec. 4, 2013

"I absolutely love this app. Thank you."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Nov. 5, 2013

"Don't forget to take the unpopped "old maids" out of the popcorn before forming into balls. We learned that the hard way. Recipe is delicious, though. :)"

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