Popcorn Balls

Makes 18


Popcorn - makes 12 cups

  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • ½ cup popcorn kernels


  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 stick of butter + 2 tbsp


  • ½ cup mini marshmallows
  • ⅓ cup salted peanut halves
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper


Make Popcorn (not demonstrated in the video) & Add Mini Marshmallows

  1. Heat 3 tbsp of canola oil in a stockpot. Add popcorn. Once it starts popping, shake the pot continuously to prevent the kernels from burning
  2. Once the popping slows down, take the popcorn off the heat. Place the popcorn in a shallow glass baking dish and once cool, add mini marshmallows

Make Caramel, Add Peanuts, Cayenne & Shape Popcorn

  1. Place all ingredients for caramel except butter in pan on medium heat until candy thermometer reaches 260º (about 10 minutes). If you don't have a candy thermometer, drop some of the liquid in a glass of water.  If it forms a ball, it's ready.
  2. Reduce heat, add butter until dissolved. Turn off heat and pour caramel over popcorn. Try to coat evenly. Mix with an oiled wooden spoon until popcorn is covered
  3. Mix in peanuts and cayenne pepper
  4. As soon as you can handle the popcorn mixture, form balls with oiled hands then place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Let cool for 30 minutes and store in airtight container

Optional Add-Ins

  • Substitute whatever you like - dried cranberries, coconut, drizzle of melted chocolate - just don't add too much or you may prevent the caramel from keeping the popcorn in a ball