Jingle Popcorn Balls
Popcorn balls are fun to make and fun to eat. These popcorn balls combine cinnamon gum drops with nuts and honey, making a sweet, sticky treat with lots of flavor.
12 cups popped popcorn
2 cups cinnamon gum drops, chopped
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoons white distilled vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Combine popcorn, gum drops and nuts in a large mixing bowl; set aside.
- Mix together corn syrup, honey, vinegar and salt in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook to the hard-ball stage (see note).
- Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Pour over popcorn mixture; mix well.
- Shape into 2-inch balls. Place on wax paper; let stand until firm.
- Wrap in plastic wrap.
Makes about 24 popcorn balls.
Tip: 'Hard-ball' describes the point at which a drop of boiling syrup immersed in cold water, when removed, forms a very firm ball that holds it shape but gives a little when squeezed. On a candy thermometer, the hard-ball stage is between 250°F to 265°F (120°C to 130°C).