After my husband and I drove to Houston, we were excited to take a detour to the Fort Worth area to stay with his grandparents. The drive from Houston to Fort Worth was a nice change from the barren Texas hill country we traveled through on the first leg of our journey. Going North, we saw green rolling hills, grazing cows, donkeys, and blue bonnets everywhere! I also had my first experience with Five Guys Burgers. SO. GOOD.
Taylor’s grandparents are the sweetest people you could ever meet. We were treated like royalty the whole time we stayed with them.
It was a perfect time to get me caught up on some family traditions, not the least of which are these amazing. salty. melty. crunchy. caramely. Popcorn Balls.
Taylor is the oldest of quite a few grandchildren, and he and his cousins have had many fun times making these addicting treats.
Now it was my turn!
First we popped the popcorn. We used regular flavored microwave popcorn, but plain popcorn from an air popper would be fine, you just might want to add a little more salt.
Then we made the caramel. I was amazed at how easy it was to make caramel. All we needed was a candy thermometer, sugar, corn syrup, salt and a lot of butter.
Once it was done, we poured the caramel into a big bowl of popcorn and started forming the balls after we buttered our hands. How fun is it to make anything where you have to butter your hands? Rice Krispie treats, popcorn balls, they all bring back good childhood memories for me. Is it just me? Anyone? Was I the only weird kid that was gleeful when I got to butter my hands to help Mom bake?
We had to be careful here because the caramel is VERY HOT. We wore latex gloves to have a small barrier from the heat. The most important thing about the gloves and the butter is that if you do touch caramel that’s too hot, it slides right off, rather than sticking to your hand and burning it further. Be careful! It’s better not to have perfectly round popcorn balls than to burn yourself.
- 7 cups popped popcorn
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup water
- ⅓ cup corn syrup
- ¼ cup butter
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Pour popped popcorn into a very large, heatproof bowl or pot.
- In a medium sauce pan, combine sugar, water, corn syrup, and salt and begin simmering over medium heat, stirring frequently.
- When sugar is close to dissolved and the mixture is heated through, add butter and continue simmering, stirring frequently.
- Continue simmering, stirring occasionally until a candy thermometer reads 310 degrees.
- Pour over popcorn.
- Stir quickly with a wooden spoon to aid the caramel in covering the popcorn while it's still too hot to touch.
- Put on latex gloves and butter hands.
- Grab a handfuls of popcorn/caramel mixture and form into balls of desired size.(Be Careful! It could still be very hot.)
- Let popcorn balls cool and enjoy!