Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fall is Coming! {Caramel Popcorn Ball Recipe}

Falls coming.  I can smell it in the air.  The plants are changing and the pond is showing the early signs of the season's change. 

This is my favorite time of year!

Fall brings us out of the house and into the world again.  Summer in the South gets awfully hot, y'all.  We tend to hibernate behind closed doors with the air conditioner keeping things cool.  So when that weather starts changing, we head out the door and spend as much time in the coolness as possible.

In the Fall, we do field trips to places that we greatly enjoy.  The beach for walks, the state parks to see what we can learn and the Zoo when we are able.  Anywhere that brings learning and fun, combined into one!

Fall is also the beginning of our favorite Holiday season: Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We love these holidays and love to share them as a family.  The holidays lead us back to the kids birthdays, which is a season all in itself when you have 8 kids to love.

One of our favorite things for Fall are Caramel Popcorn Balls.  This was a childhood favorite of everyone who knew my Momma.  Every year she'd make up a big ole batch of Popcorn Balls to take to our school events and everyone loved them.  Momma doesn't make them much anymore but it's still something we enjoy when we are able to.

The recipe is really simple and easy to make but it does make a sticky mess and can be HOT, so be forewarned before you attempt to make these gooey goodies for your own family and friends.

Caramel Popcorn Balls

4 T. butter or margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup (Momma prefers Karo)
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
6 qts popped corn

Combine butter, brown sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan.  Stir well.  Bring this mixture to a boil over medium heat.  Add in the condensed milk, continuing to stir constantly.  The mixture will become a soft ball when it reaches around 236*.  Stir in the vanilla at that point.

Pour this mixture over the top of the popped corn, stirring to coat all of the popcorn.  Lightly butter up your hands to prevent the sticky, gooey mixture from sticking to you.  Shape the caramel popcorn into balls that are about 3 1/2 inches in diameter. 


You can wrap these up in cellophane or saran wrap to keep them from sticking to one another or to anything else for that matter.   Tie them with a cute ribbon and add a label for the Holiday to make them a gift!

One thing Momma always did was add in food coloring to make these festive colors for the Holiday.  Halloween the popcorn balls were always orange, while at Christmas she used red and green.  She'd add the food coloring before pouring the mixture onto the popcorn balls and after adding the vanilla.  If you are using two colors, then half the mixture and the popcorn so that you can make half the batch one color and half another color.

I don't have a picture of these since we haven't made them in a while but I promise they will be hit around your home for the Holidays just as they are around ours!

Enjoy!

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