OUTRAGEOUSLY ORANGE POPCORN BALLS

Time has not been my friend this summer.

I’ve used it well, but didn’t necessarily do the things I wanted to do.

The garden has taken over my life, although I’ve lived through it. I have to admit though . . . I muttered under my breath . . . “Kill me now” . . . several times. I did it quietly though.

I’ve picked more Raspberries than are even imaginable. I’ve picked, shelled & frozen peas. I’ve snapped & canned & frozen beans. Shucking corn is second nature.

The last few days . . . I’ve picked purple plums . . . pitted them . . . and dried them along with peaches.  If you happen to be interested, my Food Dehydrator is a Magic Aire II and it works fabulously.  It’s old. I really don’t know if you can still buy them. Plums also make wonderful jelly and my freezer is stocked, along with Raspberry jam.

hence . . . the lack of posts!

My sweet half happens to be digging spuds. Yes, around here it’s SPUD HARVEST.

He dropped a hint last night. “Popcorn balls would sure be good in my lunch!”, he said. Like the “good wife,” I obliged.

These are ridiculously Orange, and would make great Halloween treats for neighbors or friends. As I was pulling out the food coloring from the box, my mind drifted back a few days.

FYI:  Did you know that Food Coloring comes off of NICE LEATHER FURNITURE?

To recap:  As I was babysitting our sweet little Oakleigh, . . . she tested that theory for me. I happened to be busy in a place called the bathroom, when she decided to leave my side at the throne and sped to the kitchen.  I cried out . . . “Oakleigh . . . come back here!” She totally ignored me, just like any two year old seems to do!

When I finished my business and found her, she was happily spreading GREEN food coloring all over the leather chair and ottoman with her toothbrush! This furniture happens to sit in the living room, with very light carpeting.

Yes . . . I did panic. I swiftly, and very matter of factly . . . picked her up . . . plunked her in the kitchen and said:  “Don’t you move!”

She didn’t!

I went to work on that leather with a wet rag and 409. It came off beautifully! It did not come off beautifully from her teeth, nose, cheeks and arms. Yes . . . she brushed her teeth and other body parts with the green food coloring. I didn’t dare use the 409 on her!

The miracle in this story:  Not one drop of food coloring landed on my carpet!!!! I certainly have angels in heaven watching over me, and for that I’m grateful.

Back to the Orange Popcorn balls . . .

You will need popped popcorn.  Make sure that you sift out all the unpopped kernels.

You will need to make the delicious, buttery candy, gooey orange stuff . . . or pink, red, blue, green, etc.

While your mixture is boiling, get prepared. Lay out some wax paper.  Put half of the popcorn in a large mixing bowl, and leave the other half in a sack or bowl.

I use a candy thermometer, but also do the . . .

It’s the perfect way to know that the Candy has come to a “soft ball stage.”

You will be able to form a nice soft, but firm ball on the end of your spoon.  It’s ready. You can eat that ball of candy!

Mix the candy over the top of the popcorn . . . stir well until it’s all coated in gooey deliciousness.

Butter your hands lightly and form balls.  Don’t press the balls too tightly . . . just tight enough that they stay in balls.

note:  If you press the balls really tightly……it sometimes causes them to get sugary.  You don’t want this!

Let them cool well.  I store my popcorn balls in the jumbo size zip-loc bags.

HAPPY EATING!

I hope to be back soon.

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THE PERFECT POPCORN BALL

YOU WILL NEED:
* I times this recipe by 3 = 15 large popcorn balls.
2 Qts. popped popcorn
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup butter
1/4 tsp. salt
1 teaspoon vanilla.
food coloring:  Add any color, and as much as you like. If you are using liquid coloring, it takes a bit more to make a bright color.  Paste coloring is more concentrated.
as for flavorings:  I don’t add any additional flavoring oils, but you sure could.  Examples:  Cotton candy, cinnamon, strawberry, etc.
DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Put popcorn in a large, 4 inch deep buttered baking pan. Keep warm in the oven. Combine sugar, corn syrup, water, butter and salt in a large saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar is WELL dissolved. Cook until mixture reaches 250 F on a candy thermometer, stirring frequently. ( I use the cold water method, and cook it until it reaches a soft ball stage). Remove from heat. Quickly stir in the vanilla. Remove popcorn from the oven. Pour syrup mixture over the popcorn, stirring to mix well. Grease you fingers with butter, and form into balls. Place on wax paper to cool. I store mine in large Ziploc bags. They will still chewy good for a long time.

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  • Yvonne @ TriedandTasty.com - October 3, 2011 - 8:43 pm

    Jonna,

    I’ve missed commenting on your blog. Like you said, I may not alway comment – but you can better believe I’m always checking out your recipes. I hear ya on being busy! I have no idea where my time, or my summer went. At the beginning of the summer I didn’t even have any plans – now I wonder where in the world all the plans came from that took up all of my days :) I wouldn’t change a thing. Your gardening sounds delightful. Lots of work, but delightful. All the hard work pays off though when you can sit back and grab a jar or can of whatever this fall and winter knowing exactly what’s in it (no preservatives.. or other junk!) and that YOU grew it!

    This recipe looks awesome. I will add it on my “list to make”.

    Hope you didn’t think I abandoned you. Well, I sorta did in my lack of commenting. But I was always here and will always be! I just love your site :)

    YvonneReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - October 4, 2011 - 5:32 am

    My friend makes these with marshmallows. Yum!ReplyCancel

  • Teresa O - October 4, 2011 - 5:54 am

    Love the colorful popcorn balls. I am enjoying your blog so much and finding great recipes to try. I had to laugh at the green food color escapade. Kids do the darnedest things.ReplyCancel

  • ashley @ Josh & Ashley's World - October 4, 2011 - 8:49 am

    Those are absolutely adorable! Perfect for Halloween!ReplyCancel

  • Lesa - October 4, 2011 - 3:33 pm

    I come from a very small community and my mom has made this exact recipe for popcorn balls and handed them out every Halloween for many years. (Like over 30 years!) It’s funny because a lot of the past recipients now escort their children into my mom’s house so they can have a popcorn ball. She made over 300 one year. She keeps saying she is going to stop making them but there will be some sad trick or treaters if she does. It’s a tradition! Love your blog!!ReplyCancel

  • Brandi - October 4, 2011 - 9:49 pm

    You are so good to always give in to the little hints that are given… Dad is very lucky to have you in the kitchen!!!
    I love your popcorn balls. I remember making them with you. I remember you showing me how to cold water test the carmel…we use to fight over who got to eat that delicious ball! So funny what we remember. Just might have to make some of these with my own kids.
    I am so glad little Oakleigh didn’t get any color on the carpet. Still makes me laugh reading your post… “Don’t Move…” I can see her standing there with her arms stretched out, scared to even blink! Makes me laugh so hard! Little Stinker-is very lucky! Love you Mom!ReplyCancel

  • lynn - October 4, 2011 - 9:53 pm

    YIkes! I would of panicked too. ; D You do have angels watching over you. Thanks for the tip on how to get food coloring out.

    Can’t wait to try this recipe. My husband is a popcorn ball freak and has tried every recipe we have. This is a new one. Like the good little wife I am {ha ha} I will have to surprise him with this one. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Charity - October 8, 2011 - 1:34 am

    I’ve missed your posts, but figured you were stuck in the garden.lol Just for future reference – toothpaste takes off kool aid mustaches so it might work with food coloring too. ;PReplyCancel

  • Ashley - October 11, 2011 - 8:23 am

    I am so excited about these popcorn balls! I am having a love affair with all things popcorn and these will be a wonderful way to satisfy my craving. Thanks for sharing. Good luck with your garden :) ReplyCancel

  • bakergirl - March 23, 2012 - 10:56 pm

    you didn’t say anything about color or flavor in recipe???ReplyCancel

  • Annie - December 11, 2012 - 5:38 pm

    Hi,

    I love your blog and am going to try this recipe. I was wondering if you know how long these last? I’m thinking about making some for my wedding and want to do everything I can as far ahead of time as I can!

    :-)

    thanksReplyCancel

    • Get Off Your Butt and BAKE! - December 12, 2012 - 10:11 am

      I make my popcorn balls, and actually store them in large zip loc type bags or even bread bags that I’ve saved. They stay fresh and chewy for days and days!

      JonnaReplyCancel

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