20 cups air-popped popcorn (from 2/3 to 1 cup kernels; see Notes)
1 1/4 cups butter, cut into chunks, plus more for your hands
1 1/4 cups honey
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 325°. Put popcorn in a large roasting pan. Line a large baking sheet with waxed paper.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, use a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon to stir together 1 1/4 cups butter, the honey, and salt until butter is melted. Increase heat and boil honey mixture gently 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in vanilla.
Carefully pour honey mixture over popcorn in roasting pan and stir gently to coat. Bake popcorn, stirring every 5 minutes, until deep golden all over, about 25 minutes.
Let popcorn stand 5 minutes, or just until cool enough to handle. Working quickly with lightly buttered hands, press small handfuls of the mixture into 1 1/2-in. balls, occasionally loosening popcorn from bottom of pan with a spatula. If mixture cools too much to be malleable, return it to oven for about 45 seconds to soften.
Put popcorn balls on prepared baking sheet and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per popcorn ball.
If you don't have an air popper, you can pop the popcorn in the microwave: Working in 2 batches, put kernels in a brown paper bag (any size). Do not add oil. Fold the bag's opening several times to seal, then microwave at full power in 1-minute increments, checking popcorn and removing popped kernels as you go (they burn easily). Be careful when opening bag; it will release steam.
First off, this recipe is scrumptious, and exactly what I was looking for, though I replaced the butter with coconut oil, more healthy and totally delicious. Two notes about preparation, for those of us that don't make a lot of candy, a note about using a *deep* sauce pan might be in order, I had trouble keeping it from boiling over. Also, for those who don't want to burn their hands, try using rubber dish-washing gloves with a bit of oil on them, worked like a charm.
This recipe is terrific! Made it with my mom yesterday and it was perfect! It turned out what we expect. If you are looking for more tasty and delicious corn recipes -- Now is the right time to make one just watch the videos and follow list of corn recipes at www.everything-corn.com, www.gourmandia.com and www.gourmetrecipe.com for more exciting and delectable recipes. Have fun!!
Now that the minor burns and swelling to my hands have receded, I can type this review...What we parents won't do to help our kids have healthy alternatives to junk food! Yes, these little beauties are delicious - if I can just arrive to my son's school party with HALF the product, I'll be happy. HOWEVER....and at the risk of sounding like Captain Obvious - working with piping hot, honey coated popcorn does require a similar threshold to pain that many of us endured during, oh I don't know, childbirth. This is definitely NOT one of those "hey kids, want to help me make this?" sort of recipes. But good, nonetheless. Try it when you need an excuse for getting out of a tennis match or writing holiday cards.
I edited the ingredients amounts by making 1/2 cup of popcorn, 1 stick butter, 1/4 cup honey, a pinch of salt and a dash of vanilla. I made 14 balls. These are not as sticky or sweet as traditional popcorn balls that break your teeth! My 2 year old is munching away on one right now. Delicious! These will be my Halloween treats from now on!
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