“Woz” Up?

Popcorn Balls!
March 19, 2008, 4:29 pm
Filed under: Food, How To Cook (In College) | Tags: , , , ,

What can I say, I had a craving. SOMEONE was talking about them last night. Well, so was Deborah. (Who, by the way, is all annoyed by the fact that she’s number Four on my list of things I like.)

Well Popcorn Balls. I’m making them soon. Why? Because I love them. And because they look like easter eggs if you make them weird shapes, so I’m doing that instead of going home.

Well the basic recipe is pretty easy, good for college students, kids, and my mother.

I tend to use a BIG bunch of pop corn. Somewhere between 4-6 quarts. Depending on how much of the sticky binding goo I make. (I tend to eyeball stuff, it’s faster..and so I eat sooner.) The lazy way to do this? Make 2-3 bags of microwave popcorn. Screw those fancy popcorn makers. That’s why I can nuke stuff. Stick it in a warm oven to keep it hot. Or just have someone make it just as you start making the syrup.

The sticky syrupy junk:
Sugar: 2 cups
Water: enough to dissolve the sugar (1 to 2 cups, but less water than sugar)
Salt: healthy pinch
Corn syrup: 1/2 a cup (the reason I haven’t made these yet…Need to stock pantry)
Vinegar: 1/2 cap (or a teaspoon)
Vanilla: 1 cap full (teaspoon…optional, but yummy)
Other small optionals: a little cayenne, some maple syrup, peanut butter, Kahlua, banana extract, peppermint extract, marshmallows, that kind of stuff. Just tweak as you see fit.

Basically, make a syrup:
FIRST: melt some butter in the pan.
Dissolve the sugar, corn syrup, salt, vinegar, and whatever else in the water, and make you-self a simple syrup. Stir it. A LOT. This stuff gets hot, so be careful, take your time, use medium heat, and let it get good and sticky. Let it start to bubble. It’s technically “Hard” stage on a candy thermometer, or 250F…That translates to kinda bubbly and sticky. It’s not an exact science. It’s really hard to screw these up.

Once you have syrupy yummyness, toss in the popcorn, stir to coat, butter you hands, and start shaping. You’ll figure out if you like them more loose, or more dense, leave them on a lightly buttered cookie sheet (or cutting board, if you’re me…). For fun, dust on some colored sugar at the end…they start to look like play pen balls.

*Yes this entry was written a while ago, sorry. Just got around to finishing it. OKAY!?!?! I’ll make them soon.