Making Life Delicious Since 1983

Old Fashioned Popcorn Balls

Growing up we loved Grandma’s Popcorn Balls, a special treat she made for us in the fall and if we were ‘good’ we’d get to butter up our hands and help make them! This simple traditional treat is a tried & true family favorite that will be a hit to share at the hayride, bonfire, or to hand out to friends for Halloween treats!

We’ve given you two different recipes! One is the old-fashioned version using sugar and corn syrup and the other is a modern version using marshmallows. And you can use any of our delicious Amish Country Popcorn varieties but the Extra Large type is the best!

2 quarts popped popcorn
(use our EXTRA LARGE Amish Popcorn for best results!)
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup of light or dark corn syrup
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vinegar
1-2 tsp vanilla extract

Place already popped popcorn in a baking pan and keep warm in a 200° oven. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, stir together the sugar, corn syrup, water, butter, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Best to use a rubber (silicon) spatula.
Continue cooking without stirring until the temperature reaches 270° on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat. Add vanilla (and any food coloring); stir just enough to mix. Slowly pour over the popcorn. Cool just enough to handle. Shape with buttered hands and then place on to wax paper to cool completely and firm up a bit.
Store in airtight container or plastic wrap.

WORK QUICKLY: Stir syrup into popcorn well, so that kernels are evenly coated. Using the rubber spatula, be sure to keep scraping the bottom, where the syrup pools.

BUTTER YOUR HANDS WELL: (to protect from heat and to prevent from sticking) and begin forming into small balls. Work quickly! It gets harder to form balls as the syrup cools.
CALIBRATE YOUR THERMOMETER! Candy thermometers are notoriously inaccurate. Calibrate it by putting it in boiling water. If it doesn’t read 212 F, then make note of how high or low it is and adjust your recipe accordingly. Don’t take this step lightly. Undercooked syrup won’t stick together. Over-cooked syrup will hurt your teeth.

OPTIONS: add candies (m&ms, candy corn, chocolate chips) or dried fruit pieces (cranberries, raisins) to the popcorn & syrup mixture just before shaping into balls for some extra special delicious fun!



6 quarts popped popcorn
(use our EXTRA LARGE Amish Popcorn for best results!)
¼ cup butter
10 ounce bag miniature marshmallows
1 teaspoon vanilla
colored sprinkles

Put popped popcorn in a large bowl and set it aside.
In a large nonstick saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat.
When butter is melted, add the miniature marshmallows. Stir constantly until smooth and creamy, roughly 5 minutes.
Stir in vanilla until fully mixed.
Slowly pour the marshmallow mixture over the popcorn, turning the bowl and tossing with your hands to coat all the popcorn kernels.
Let cool for one minute, then run your hands under cold water and form balls to the desired size with your hands. The water keeps them from sticking to your hands.
Shake candy sprinkles over popcorn balls if desired.
Store in an airtight container or sealed plastic bags. Or wrap in plastic wrap and tie with a ribbon for gift-giving.

The marshmallow mixture burns easily due to its high sugar content, so be sure to monitor it constantly.

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