Ever since I discovered (and reinvented) this recipe for salted caramel popcorn balls a few years ago, making these sticky, sweet, and slightly salty treats has become a seasonal tradition for my kids and me!
There’s just something about chilly mornings, blustery days, and long, cozy evenings that sort of calls for sticky, chewy popcorn balls, don’t you think?
AND, since this recipe doesn’t use corn syrup (I try to stay away from that ingredient) they’re even healthy to boot.
Well, sort of.
(We can pretend, can’t we?)
To make these yummy popcorn balls, you’ll need
- a sauce pan
- a candy thermometor
- a wooden spoon
- and a muffin/cupcake tin
approx 6 cups popped corn
1 C nuts (pecans or peanuts)
¾ C honey
1 C raw, organic sugar
1 TBSP molasses
½ cup water
¼ C salted butter
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
Place popped corn and nuts in a large bowl; stir and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine honey, raw sugar, molasses, water, and salt. Place over low heat, stirring until mixture begins to boil. Add butter and stir until melted. Add vanilla just as the mixture begins to thicken and foam. Continue to cook until candy thermometor reaches firm ball stage (248 degrees). (Stir frequently to prevent scorching!)
Remove pan from heat and pour mixture over popcorn and nuts; stir with a wooden spoon until completely coated with “caramel” mixture.
To shape into balls: With an ice cream scoop, spoon hot popped corn into greased muffin cups (it’s WAY too hot to candle with your hands).
Press into a ball.
Repeat until all muffin cups are full. Recipe should yield enough mixture to make one dozen balls.
Let popcorns balls cool until set, about 10 to 15 minutes. To remove, slide the flat side of a butter knife around the edges of the balls and gently lift.
We love homemade goodies around here!