Holiday Mom Foods: Popcorn Balls

[Note from Serene: Carin and I have been doing some Mom Food dates (see the Contribute page for more details), and this time we tackled her mom’s popcorn balls. Basically, when we do a Mom Food date, I make the recipe from her description of what her Mom Food was like, and she writes the post. I used this recipe from Paula Deen, but I made a mistake and put the vanilla in before cooking the syrup. The balls turned out well nonetheless. The orange color was made with 5 drops of yellow food coloring and 1 drop of red.]

It takes balls to celebrate Hallowe’en the way Mom did.

Popcorn balls, that is. I remember helping Mom mix the hot Karo corn syrup mixture into the big roaster full of popped corn, then forming the balls with buttered hands. We made them with orange colored and brown syrup; I think the brown was probably made with dark Karo.

popcorn balls

Photo by Carin Huber

Sadly, both Mom and her recipe box are gone, so I can only guess at some of her recipes. Fortunately, there is no shortage of popcorn ball recipes on the internet, and I have only to find one using corn syrup to bring back a taste of Mom’s Hallowe’en. As with any sugar candy, you’ll have better results if you make this on a dry, sunny day. If you think they’ll last beyond the day you make them, you might want to wrap the individual popcorn balls in lightly buttered wax paper, to keep them from melding into a single mass of candied popcorn.

popcorn balls

Photo by Carin Huber

Happy Haunting!

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  1. Tatter Scoops wrote on October 26th, 2010 at 7:34 am Uhr1

    That looks so yummy and I love, love, love popcorns not a huge fan of candy corn lol. Have a fun Halloween :D
    Tatter Scoops recently posted..City Crawler &8211 Jakarta&8217s Biggest Problem

  2. laura wrote on October 26th, 2010 at 8:15 am Uhr2

    ok I’m making these with my boys today! Thanks Serene for finding a simple old fashioned way to celebrate. No need for lighted inflatable haunted houses on my front lawn, no purple lights and 23 pumpkins on the porch, I want simple and this is perfect! Thanks so much :)

    also that square black plate? I HAVE THE SAME ONES!!! almost a full set too
    laura recently posted..The Big Easy Oil-less Infrared Turkey Fryer by Char-Broil

  3. yummychunklet wrote on October 26th, 2010 at 8:57 am Uhr3

    I remember these! And I love the orange coloring!
    yummychunklet recently posted..Weekend Food

  4. Serene wrote on October 26th, 2010 at 1:22 pm Uhr4

    Don’t tell anyone, but Carin hates candy corn, as well; I lent her mine to take photos with. :-)

  5. Serene wrote on October 26th, 2010 at 5:40 pm Uhr5

    Aren’t they silly and fun?

  6. Serene wrote on October 26th, 2010 at 5:41 pm Uhr6

    Aw, cool! James has this rant he does about how every holiday has become the same thing: people decorate their houses for halloween the way they used to only do for christmas, for example, and have you seen those easter ornament trees? Wacky! I’m with you; simple is best!

    If you have almost a full set of the plates, by the way, you’re MUCH less clumsy than I am. :-)

  7. Miranda wrote on October 26th, 2010 at 7:00 pm Uhr7

    How cute and fun! Never seen those before.
    Miranda recently posted..quotWanna Bequot White Chocolate Mocha

  8. Serene wrote on October 26th, 2010 at 8:27 pm Uhr8

    You’ve never had popcorn balls! If they traveled well, I’d ship you some!

  9. laura wrote on October 27th, 2010 at 8:03 pm Uhr9

    Hey Serene we made these today! YUM! I salted them because I’m a freak, but damn they were great! Thanks again for posting such a sweet simple snack.
    laura recently posted..a few tips to get you through the FoodBuzz Festival

  10. Carin wrote on October 27th, 2010 at 8:19 pm Uhr10

    Oh, hell, tell everyone! They can have my candy corn. :D
    Carin recently posted..Tadaaa

  11. Carin wrote on October 27th, 2010 at 8:21 pm Uhr11

    I think your freakiness may be catching, Laura. I salted some chocolate ice cream last night, and it was delicious! :)
    Carin recently posted..Tadaaa

  12. Serene wrote on October 27th, 2010 at 10:10 pm Uhr12

    Ohmigosh, I salted mine, too! :-) We can be freaks together, darlin’!

  13. Molly wrote on November 2nd, 2010 at 11:50 am Uhr13

    Oooh, those sound really good. But then again, popcorn? Candy corn? How could it go wrong?

    Thanks for swinging by and linking up.
    Molly recently posted..Getting the perfect Halloween picture