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Popcorn Balls: Submitted by: Robert Losee | Date Added: 13 Sep 2011
Listed in: Sweets / Candies

1 cup popcorn

cup corn syrup
cup water
1 cup sugar

cup butter

[red or other color food coloring, optional]
teaspoon vanilla

Cooking Instructions

Makes 1 dozen popcorn balls.

For me the best treat for Halloween was popcorn balls. I'd take my bag home and try each one, judging them like I was at the county fair giving out blue ribbons. The blue ribbon winners had a soft and buttery candy binder and crisp light popcorn. Then I'd wish I knew where I got it from so I could go back next year. After the big popcorn ball scare some women gave them out with their names and addresses on the wrappers. My mom didn't think that would work (and it didn't, the whole Halloween popcorn market collapsed) but she'd invite her friends to bring their children over for the popcorn balls she made. I can still vividly remember Halloweens, when it seemed all the trick or treating was done, that a car now and then would pull up and children would pour out squalling with delight that finally they were getting the good stuff. Their mothers would demand tribute, "Thank you Mrs. Losee!", and they'd be off. My mom thought kids should have popcorn balls for Halloween so she was delighted too.

Like my mother I think kids (even if they're in their thirties now) should have them for fall so I continue making them for the people I care about, a tip of my chef's hat to my mom.

1) Pop corn and put in warm oven to keep warm.

2) Mix sugar, corn syrup, and water and gently boil until temperature is 230F. Add butter.

3) Gently boil to softball stage (238F), which can happen in a minute after adding butter. Take off the heat and add the optional food coloring and vanilla. Spread the mixture over corn and mix, coating the corn, and being very careful the very hot and sticky sugar mix doesn't get on your skin.

4) Let cool just enough so it can be handled. Dip hands in warm water to keep syrup from sticking, and gently form balls applying just enough pressure to keep keep the ball together. Put balls on waxed paper, let cool and set.

Robert Losee

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