Friday, December 16, 2011

Popcorn Balls

Making popcorn balls as a family is a tradition we TRY to keep each December.
While the syrup reaches "soft ball" stage, we pop a huge bowl of popcorn with our ancient air popper. It really is a group effort when it's time to pour the hot syrup over the popcorn and stir to coat each piece. Many hands dig in to form the balls. (Cold wet hands work best.)
Of course, the best part of the process is the eating. They are delicious!
My dad is the one who started this tradition. When he was a boy his family would make popcorn balls, wrap them in red or green cellophane and hang them on their Christmas tree. When friends or neighbors stopped by during the Holidays, they each would receive one of the homemade treats to enjoy.

We miss my dad very very much, but luckily, my kids have sweet memories of making popcorn balls with their grandpa.
Here is his recipe:

Popcorn Balls
2 c. sugar
2/3 c. white corn syrup
2/3 c. water
1/2 lb. butter
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla or maple flavoring (We actually used both.)

Cook all ingredients except the flavorings until the mixture forms a soft ball in cold water. Add vanilla and/or maple and pour over popcorn. (If you only use one type of flavoring, make it maple.)


Laura said...

Extremely impressive that Brian can make popcorn balls with a tie on!

Julie said...

Ha ha, Laura! Yes, he was in between church meetings. :)

Rachel said...

The fourth picture down is hilarious! Dear, dear Travis my brother.

Jenny said...

I think Abby is making a very Kellie face in that photo. Popcorn balls are the best! What a great tradition.

Ginger said...

You look so much like your dad! :) I love popcorn balls, but have never made them before... how can that be? I might just have to try your recipe and start something new with my kids this year. I hope you are having a nice Christmas!

Deila Taylor said...

Yea, I like that tie hanging around the gooey popcorn too. Those are a lot of work. Made them once.

Julie said...

Rachel, yes, I clearly had no words for it. :)

Garden of Egan said...

It looks like crazy awesome fun!!!
What a great family picture.

Thanks for the recipe. I love a good popcorn ball!

Marianne said...

Lookin' good, Travis!!

Julie, what a fun tradition! And yummy. And you had *almost* everyone there!

Cherie said...

You do such fun things with your family! I love this tradition.
It goes right to my heart because it is also your Dad's tradition and you are keeping it alive and going with your family and that is very meaningful!
What a wonderful Mother you are :-D

Lisa @ Pulsipher Page said...

What a great family tradition! I love the tradition your dad had of putting them on the tree and handing them out to visitors. I might have to borrow this one.

Anonymous said...

Good Ole Popcorn Balls are our favorites too !!! Love that it was a tradition your dad did with you and now your carrying on the tradition with your family !!!!

Marvett Smith said...

What a great tradition! I love that last picture of your family working together. The old air popper reminds me of my dad and the times that we always made popcorn together when I was young. We don't make popcorn balls around here very often, but I have a new recipe for cinnamon bear popcorn that we are definitely going to make. I'm glad you are carrying on a tradition that your dad started. That's what the holidays are all about. :)

Chell said...

I haven't made popcorn balls in forever!