When I was little we didn’t have a neighborhood to trick or treat in. Instead my parents drove us around to all their friend’s houses. I remember the Jeep wrangler that my father had at the time, cherry red with a hard top for the winter. For some reason I always see that Jeep when I think of trick or treating. Most houses that we’d stop at had the expected candy in a plastic jack’o lantern. At those stops it was more about showing off our costumes and having a photo taken. One house though, the one that I looked forward to every year, had homemade popcorn balls to give out. I remember that delicious sugary but salty chewy popcorn goodness. I wish I could remember how they were wrapped-I think in wax paper but I can’t be sure so many years later. What I do know is that they’ve made me have a soft spot for popcorn balls ever since.
To make these homemade popcorn balls, I freshly popped this popcorn in my Whirley Pop with just a bit of coconut oil. It’s about 12 cups of popcorn as I did snack on a few kernels. I couldn’t resist.
I used brown rice syrup for sweetener in this mixture. You could always use corn syrup but I like the idea of brown rice syrup. I also couldn’t resist peanut butter as the other ingredient in the coating. If you were bringing it to a school or for those with a peanut allergy you could use sunbutter or almond butter.
Coat the popcorn thoroughly-you don’t want a bare kernel! You might want to use spatulas to do so until the peanut butter mixture cools a bit. Then dampen your hands in cool water so the mixture doesn’t stick to your hands. Then take a scoop of popcorn in your hands and press it into a ball. You can make them as big as a softball or as teeny as a fig. It all just depends on what you want to do with them. I think small little popcorn balls would be an addictively delicious snack. But I’m partial to a baseball sized popcorn ball just enough for about four bites.
I know halloween food scares and food allergies, homemade treats can’t be given out to trick or treaters. But I’d love to serve a great big bowl of these at a party. They’d be a fun favor for a party too.
- 12 cups of freshly popped popcorn
- 1/2 cup of brown rice syrup
- 1/2 cup of peanut butter
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Over medium low heat combine the brown rice syrup, peanut butter, and sea salt.
- Cook for approximately 5 minutes or until melted.
- Keep stirring the mixture so it doesn't burn.
- Pour over popcorn and stir to coat the popcorn with the peanut butter mixture.
- Lay out a foot of wax paper.
- Wet your hands, take a handful of popcorn, and roll into a compact ball.
- Place finished popcorn balls on the wax paper.
- For giving popcorn balls away wrap each individually in saran wrap and secure ends with tape or ribbon.