The Popcorn Balls were created by blogger, Trish Rosenquist. To learn more about Trish, visit her blog at Mom On Timeout.
"I've been making popcorn balls with my family for as long as I can remember. My Grandma was the popcorn ball queen and because it was so much fun for all of us grandkids - we made them often! Popcorn balls didn't just make an appearance at Christmas time, we had them at Thanksgiving, Easter, Valentine's Day, you name it! Any day can be the RIGHT day for popcorn balls - especially when they're made with love. As soon as my kids were old enough, popcorn balls became a Christmas tradition for us too. There is something incredibly exciting about mixing marshmallow (my kid's favorite food group...) and popcorn together and making "balls" with them."
- WONKA® SweeTARTS® Merry Mix and Holiday Gummies
- WONKA® NERDS®
- 1 lb. marshmallows
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup raw popcorn, popped (about 10 cups popped)
- Food coloring (optional)
- Nonstick baking spray or additional butter for greasing hands
A couple tips before starting:
1. Set up your work station in advance. Make sure you have the candy mix-ins out and easily available for little hands.
2. Have a wet towel nearby if you're planning on taking pictures and NOT destroying your camera.
3. Always, always remind your little ones to generously butter their hands before each popcorn ball creation. It does two things - protect hands from the heat of the melted marshmallows AND keeps it from sticking.
Step 1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish or two 8x8 square dishes with non-stick spray. Fill the dishes with freshly popped popcorn and place in the oven to keep warm. I would definitely recommend separate dishes for each kid - makes it SO much easier!
Step 2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the marshmallows and stir frequently until they fully melt. Turn off the heat and add in the vanilla and optional food coloring. (Start with a couple of drops and add more as needed until you get the color you want.)
Step 3. Pull the baking dish(es) full of popcorn out of the oven. Drizzle the marshmallow and butter mixture over the popcorn - get as much out as you can because it's sticky.
Step 4. Now comes the fun part - for the kids that is. You can either spray your hand with the baking spray or cover them in butter. The marshmallow mixture is HOT so be careful. The butter or spray is to protect your hands from the heat as well as to keep the marshmallow from sticking to your hands.
Step 5. Use your well-buttered hands or a wooden spoon to mix up the popcorn and marshmallow mixture until the popcorn is evenly coated. Sprinkle on your choice of candy.
Step 6. Grab a handful of popcorn and start forming it into a ball squeezing firmly to make sure the popcorn ball sticks together.
And that's it! It's such an easy but fun recipe to make with the kids and the best part is definitely the reward of eating the fruits of your labors.
My mom used to wrap up the balls in plastic wraps and tie pretty ribbons at either end. This is a great way to take them to a Christmas party or to hand out to friends and family.