I'm indifferent to football, but my husband likes Auburn. I decided it would be a fun excuse for teaching my daughter to cook, try new things, and for all of us to try liking football. Today was our first "football food" day.
We made popcorn balls, and colored them blue and orange for Auburn. They came out a bit on the pastel-side, but oh well. I got the recipe from AllRecipes. My 7-yr-old popped the popcorn, my 10-yr-old tended the goo on the stove, and my 4-yr-old joined in to shape the balls. My husband helped eat them. He does cook, but he was actually watching the game.
Two of my helpers....
The popcorn balls were good, but a bit more gooey than I would prefer. They were also very sweet. Today I made them with nine large marshmallows, no vinegar, no vanilla. Next time I make them, I'll try it this way, with reduced marshmallow, and the addition of vanilla and vinegar:
Soft Popcorn Balls
- 5 quarts plain popped popcorn (I used Orville's tender white microwave popcorn, it took 4 bags, and it is salted)
- 3/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup margarine
- 2 teaspoons cold water
- 2 5/8 cups confectioners' sugar
- 6 large marshmallows
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- food color
- Pop the popcorn, remove all unpopped kernels, and divide into large bowls, one for each color you want. Set out a small bowl for each color, including the cooking pot. Put food color into each bowl, reserving one color for the pot, to be done last.
- Place a bowl of ice water next to the stove, for plunging hands into if you get burned by the candy. It probably won't happen, but is good just in case.
- In a large sauce pan, combine corn syrup, butter, water, confectioners sugar, marshmallows, and vinegar. On medium heat, stir constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. Allow to bubble for a minute or two.
- Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, then pour into color bowls. After dividing, add the last color to the pot. Stir each bowl
- Pour a bowl of colored goo into each bowl of popcorn, and stir until coated. Make sure to scrape from the bottom, lift, and fold; the goo collects in the bottom.
- Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray, and have all the ballers rub their hands in it. Roll into 2 - 3" balls. Place balls onto the cookie sheet.
- Serve on a plate, or wrap each ball in plastic wrap when completely cool. If they are allowed to sit out unwrapped, they will get soft, because they attract moisture from the air. Use colored wraps and ribbons to make them festive.