This recipe was the death of me.
I have laughed, cried (because every sane person cries over recipes) and gone crazy creating these darn popcorn balls.
Not to mention the fact that I emotionally ate way too much of it in the process of trying to perfect them. I wouldn’t normally complain about caramel popcorn, especially when you throw in that pretzel and white chocolate, but it is just so addicting it is hard to stop.
So I caution you, these are like the bomb, can’t stop, won’t stop. It maybe one of my favorite dessert recipes to date.
I just can’t help it. And neither can my children, apparently.
The progression of these popcorn balls is something I tell you. No I’ll really tell you of course. ->WINK<-
It started out as a new and unique idea for my daughter’s fifth ->INSERT CRYING<- fifth birthday party. How and when did she turn
thirteen five? I’m not quite sure. But planning a five-year old’s birthday party is something. The ideas, the events of the day and even what she is going to wear has changed more times than I can tell you.
So you can imagine that planning the food was no different.
She wanted to have a camp-out, PJ, painting, costume party because we couldn’t just settle on one idea. I was kind of going with the camp-out theme and thought that S’mores popcorn balls would be the perfect fit. Well the theme kept changing day after day and when she finally settled on the final plan the graham crackers I was going to use were gone.
Typical in our house so plan B it was.
Caramel popcorn balls.
Who am I kidding, such a better idea than S’mores and so much easier to create. I mean I am head over heals in love with this guilt-free caramel corn with my secret ingredient and thought how simple to use this recipe to create popcorn balls?!
Well not as simple as you would think. While I loved the recipe I soon learned after not baking it and then baking it and all the tips and tricks I could think of in between to make this darn caramel popcorn stick into balls, it just wasn’t working.
Finally I figured out what was going wrong in my quest to make them super healthy as usual. I was using far too much butter and not enough sugar, the very thing I was trying to avoid. But I gave in because I couldn’t stand the thought of never creating popcorn balls simply because I wanted to win over sugar.
I mean it is her birthday and this recipe is still much better than many alternatives so I did it. With a similar taste profile, just stickier making it perfect to make balls, and two late nights I was finally able to confirm that I indeed found the secret ratio to these addictive and simply amazing popcorn balls.
What I shouldn’t tell you is that these beauties are made with only five ingredients, minus the add-ins. Because if I told you that, you would probably make them tonight and tomorrow and the next realizing quickly just how delicious they are by your inability to quit eating them. Maybe you should do that so I don’t feel so alone in this caramel popcorn ball eating addiction I have going.
I have finally made the most delicious and festive (insert Halloween sprinkles) caramel popcorn balls for her fifth birthday party where six additional little girls ransack our house with laughter, I’m sure some crying, drama and all the girly goodness making that girl total nine including myself (lucky husband, am I right?!?). At least through it all we will have good food, or so I thought.
The sad reality is that while taking these photos, staging them and making them just perfect my middle daughter saw the melted white chocolate get drizzled on top followed by the shaved dark chocolate and sprinkles and apparently she couldn’t resist. By the time I saw this little hand behind my camera lens and was able to react the entire board holding these darling, precious popcorn balls got knocked to the floor just to have our dog (a.k.a. the janitor) come in and swoop them up.
At least we have them documented. The popcorn balls did happen, but the popcorn balls are no more.
->Insert more crying as usual<-
Actually I didn’t even muster up the strength to cry. At this point and all these darn popcorn balls put me through I just laughed, because what else is there to do.
Now on to plan C… which I didn’t have a plan C so can someone help a mom out.
The party is tomorrow, I need a plan C and my brain-power is melted just like that delicious perfect chocolate was melted.
Can someone just make the popcorn balls and tell me how much your family loved them?!? Thanks a million for that encouragement and that support.
I’m going to win popcorn balls, I’m.going.to.win.
- ¾ cup unpopped popcorn, popped
- 1 cup sorghum
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup crushed pretzel
- ½ cup crushed pecans
- ⅓ cup white chocolate, melted
- crushed unsweetened coconut flakes
- shaved dark chocolate
- Pop popcorn and set aside. Should have about 10 cups popped popcorn.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat molasses and butter and it just begins to boil.
- Turn down heat until simmer and continue cooking and stirring for an additional 4-5 minutes being careful not to burn.
- Turn off heat and stir in vanilla and baking soda.
- Continue to stir until it bubbles up and carefully pour over popcorn.
- Add in optional add-ins and mix thoroughly.
- Let cool slightly until it is just warm to the touch and begin forming into balls.
- Place balls on parchment paper and let completely cool.
- You may have to continue forming into balls as they cool. You will need to use some force with this.
- Once cooled, drizzle with white chocolate and sprinkle with crushed coconut flakes and shaved dark chocolate.