In anticipation for a family visit this weekend with my brother’s rugrats, Dain volunteered to bang out a Foodie Friday post. His treat of choice: popcorn balls. They were completely his brainchild, and he did an awesome job except for one minor error. Which is why he usually cooks with me around to supervise the recipe. I wondered why they “have a funny aftertaste” until I started looking at his pictures. You live and you learn.
He picked a good recipe from Paula Deen. Because you can basically never go wrong with a P.D. recipe. Basically. If you follow the recipe that is. It calls for:
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 1/3 cups water
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 18 cups popped corn
Dain started by popping the popcorn on the stove.
Then he combined the sugar, water, corn syrup, vinegar and salt on the stove and brought it up to 255 degrees as measured by our candy thermometer (that I just learned we have.)
After stirring in the vanilla and orange food coloring to add the festivity factor, he poured the mixture over the popcorn, gently tossing it with a spoon to coat it all.
Then you just use your hands to roll them into balls and let them cool on wax paper.
Dain added some bamboo forks to make them easier to eat, and they were ready to sample after cooling.
Dain packaged them nicely for our guests using the cellophane bags leftover from our candy apples.
And then he did the official taste. The result of which was that they have a funny aftertaste. I did not sample these because popcorn balls have never been my favorite. But my best guess is that they taste funny because instead of white vinegar, my favorite husband used our seasoned rice wine vinegar that I put in Asian dishes, which I suspect gave those balls some unwanted tastes from the far east. However, the recipe got 4 out of 5 stars from 51 reviews online if you’re looking for a popcorn ball recipe. Dain will likely be perfecting his next year