Recipe for Popcorn Balls: Halloween
I love popcorn balls old fashioned way (you know the Karo syrup popcorn balls recipe). Those are the treats that I remembered from my childhood Halloween trick-or-treating.
So, I was a little skeptical about this popcorn balls recipe with marshmallows.
But … they are soooooo good. This will be my new way to these easy desserts (and favorite popcorn balls homemade)!
If you’re looking for a popcorn balls recipe easy to make or a popcorn balls recipe without corn syrup, this is it!
Before we get to the popcorn balls recipe marshmallow, let’s answer some questions about making popcorn balls that will help you out with the recipe.
What are popcorn balls made of?
There are old-fashioned popcorn balls with molasses, popcorn balls recipe with caramel, popcorn balls with Jello, and popcorn balls with marshmallows. These are the popcorn balls without corn syrup, but it’s traditional to make popcorn balls recipe with Karo syrup or corn syrup.
Our popcorn ball recipe using marshmallows (without corn syrup) stick together just fine!
How long do popcorn balls stay fresh?
So, how long do popcorn balls last? Popcorn balls will stay fresh for up to a week in a sealed container, but eat some immediately! They are best the day you make them!
Can you freeze popcorn balls?
If you want to freeze popcorn balls, first wrap each one individually in plastic wrap and then place in a freezer bag. Allow frozen homemade popcorn balls recipe to thaw completely before eating them.
CHECK OUT THIS FRIENDLY MONSTERS ACTIVITY PACK FROM OUR SISTER SITE THAT IS FUN TO PAIR WITH THIS RECIPE!
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Secret Recipe Tips for the Best Popcorn Balls
OK. I have some super secret tips for making popcorn balls:
- I use white popcorn. I think white popcorn makes a crispier popcorn ball.
- SALT YOUR POPCORN! This is something that many people don’t do and then they talk about their popcorn balls tasting bland. The saltiness balances out the sweetness of the marshmallows perfectly for yummy popcorn balls!
- Although we love to make popcorn the old-fashioned way (on the stove, described in the recipe), for a few years now we’ve used this brand of popcorn maker that we absolutely love. It still has that yummy (oil) taste that microwave popcorn misses and it’s fast, easy, and fun to watch!
Purple People Eater Popcorn Balls Recipe Pairing
For our reading and recipe pairing, we didn’t . . . use a book this time.
Instead, we decided to do a singing and recipe project using the Purple People Eater song because my daughter (STILL) thinks that song is so funny! (Plus, it’s a fun Halloween theme!)
If you’re not familiar with the song, you’re in for a treat!
It’s actually a song from 1958 by the singer Sheb Wooley. (You can stream it on Pandora for free or find it on YouTube).
The song starts:
Well, I saw the thing comin’ out of the sky
It had the one long horn, one big eye
I commenced to shakin’ and I said “ooh-eee”
It looks like a purple eater to me
It was a one-eyed, one-horned, flyin’ purple people eater
(One-eyed, one-horned, flyin’ purple people eater)
A one-eyed, one-horned, flyin’ purple people eater
Sure looks strange to me (one eye?)
And, it just gets stranger from there.
It made for such a fun song to pair with this recipe!
We made Halloween popcorn balls, but you can make these as popcorn balls for Christmas by changing up the colors (and leaving off the horn and eyes). The popcorn ball recipe is the same (and good for monster party food ideas, too!).
DON’T MISS: What To Do With Leftover Halloween Candy?
OK! Let’s get to the gooey popcorn balls recipe!
How To Make Popcorn Balls
We made mini Purple People Eaters with this recipe for popcorn balls and it made about 20 1- to 2-inch popcorn balls.
However, the number that it makes will depend on how large or small you make your popcorn balls.
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 Cup unpopped white popcorn
- 8 Tablespoons butter
- 5 Cups miniature marshmallows
- Salt (to taste)
- Purple food coloring gel
- Candy Corn
- Jumbo candy eyes
- Decorating icing (optional, to affix eyes/candy corn)
- Non-stick cooking oil spray (for hands)
- Add vegetable oil to pan and heat on high until hot.
- Add popcorn to pan and cover with lid. Shake pan to keep popcorn moving until all the kernels are popped. Immediately remove from heat when popcorn stops popping. Transfer to a large bowl. Salt to taste.
- Melt butter in pot over low heat. Stir in marshmallows and continue cooking, stirring constantly until marshmallows are melted.
- Add purple gel food coloring to melted marshmallows and stir until you get the desired purple. Immediately pour over popcorn. Mix with spoon (sprayed with cooking oil) and stir until completely covered.
- Spray hands with non-stick cooking oil spray. Make small popcorn balls (we made mini ones, about the size of our palms) by forming a ball in with your hands.
- Use your thumb to make a small indentation and immediately place the candy eye in the center.
- Gently push a Candy Corn into the top of the head for the horn.
- Place on parchment paper to set, about 20 minutes.
If the candy eye or Candy Corn doesn't want to to stick to the popcorn ball, use a little bit of white decorating icing (in the canisters with the spray nozzle) to get them to stick.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 122Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 82mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 0gSugar: 13gProtein: 0g
Nutrition information is estimated. Changes to the recipe and use of different brands may cause changes to the nutritional information to vary slightly from the ones provided here.
Why won’t my popcorn balls stick together?
In some cases, you may find that your popcorn balls won’t stick together. If you’re making the popcorn balls with syrup or molasses, the liquid might be too hot and “thin.” It might help to let the liquid sit for a minute. Also, if the syrup is too cool or the popcorn mixture has cooled completely, you might have a hard time getting the popcorn to form into balls. If you’re using marshmallows, the popcorn will easily form into balls if you do it immediately.