Popcorn Balls with Ghoul Drool and Pumpkin Guts
I whipped up this easy Halloween treat recipe for my friend, the beautiful and talented Alli at The Cupcake Diaries! Such a fun series of Halloween goodness. These popcorn balls are so stinking good! I make them a little on the baseball size side for us at home, but have also made smaller ones in my mini muffin tin to take to office parties.
Most everyone hates a recipe chatterbox, so without delay – here's the recipe! Scroll to the bottom of the post for a printable version.
1 c marshmallows
1 c granulated sugar
1 c corn kernels
3/4 c light corn syrup
4 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp vegetable oil
Wilton Pumpkin Spice Candy Melts
Wilton Caramel Apple Candy Melts
Regular size muffin tin
Step 2: Make popcorn for the popcorn balls
I used regular old Orville Redenbacher kernels in a large pot with some oil. I just don't like microwave popcorn – it feels like it's just … missing something somehow. It feels a little empty in my mouth. Anyway, you can use whatever you like – I won't guarantee stellar results though, because I only do it this one way. I used 3 tbsp of oil and one cup of kernels. When the corn is done, transfer it to a REALLY BIG bowl. The stirring is a bit messy, and you need plenty of room to quickly move those kernels around and get them coated.
Choose your spoon or spatula that you'll be using to mix the glaze in with the popcorn. Grease it up liberally with shortening or butter – otherwise you'll end up with most of the popcorn stuck to your spoon, like one of those giant cotton candy cones you get at the carnival. Which normally would be cool, unless you're making this for a party. I'm not sure how comfortable the coworkers would be, passing around a giant popcorn cone so everyone could have a bite. Oh BLECH! I'm grossing mySELF out, I'm stopping.
Step 3: Make the glaze and mix it all up
In a heavy bottomed saucepan on med-low heat, melt together marshmallows, corn syrup, sugar, and butter. Stay close and keep an eye on it – too much heat and the sugar will scorch. Gross. The mixture will start to boil slightly, let it do so for about a minute and a half, two minutes.
Pour the blazing hot mixture over your popcorn and use a rubber spatula to gently stir. I say gently, but there's really a line here. It has to be FAST because the glaze cools so quickly, but you don't want to be so rough that you crumble the popcorn to dust. Just work quick and make sure each kernel is coated with sweet happiness.
THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT:
That glaze you just got done stirring? Yes, it looks lovely NOW but moments ago it was literally boiling sugar, like the kitchen equivalent of hot lava. Before you proceed, test the temperature of the mix. You're going to have to manhandle it a little bit, so just as soon as it's cool enough for you to stand it, get started. The glaze hardens as it cools, and you don't want to end up with a giant lump!
Coat your hands lightly with shortening or butter. This is to prevent the sticky gooey goodness from sticking to your hands as you make the balls. Work quickly to make baseball-sized popcorn balls, compressing lightly just so all the corn sticks together. I use a regular sized muffin tin (also coated with shortening or cooking spray) to let them finish cooling. This recipe makes appx 18 baseball-sized popcorn balls, so you'll need two tins. If you don't have any tins, that's ok – set them out on waxed or parchment paper instead.
Step 4: Get your drizzle on
Warm the candy melts according to package directions. I add one tsp of shortening to them during the melting process to get the consistency I prefer for drizzling. It's certainly not required, but does make the difference between a nice stringy drizzle, and big unruly clumps of candy melts all over your beautiful creation. I like to heat my melts in a small canning jar. When it's time to drizzle, I dip a small spoon into the mixture, shake off the excess, then simply drizzle the spoon back and forth over the top of the popcorn. Bonus: simply pop the lid on any unused leftovers, and they're already stored for next time.
Repeat for any additional flavors.
Step 5: Package them up and collect accolades and envy
I popped two popcorn balls into each cellophane bag and stapled it shut. (So high tech, I KNOW.) Printed out the labels right here at home and stuck them on the front with double stick tape.
Scroll to the bottom of the post to download your free printable!