History of Popcorn Balls
Popcorn balls were a fixture at many Halloween parties during the 1950s, a time when Treat or Treaters regularly enjoyed homemade treats rather than packaged store-bought candies. Chances are that many of you would receive at least one on your "Trick or Treating" rounds in your neighborhood, as well as fresh baked cookies.
Housekeeper’s Encyclopedia first published in 1861. The following is one of those old, and vintage recipes.
12 oz molasses
1 stick butter
1 cup popcorn, un-popped
Pour the popcorn kernels into a large, deep pan. Cover lightly with vegetable oil. Cover and cook on high heat until popped. His should yield 4 quarts of popped popcorn. (Try to remove un-popped kernels as best you can.)
In a small saucepan, bring the molasses and butter to a boil (about 249 degree; check with a candy thermometer).
In a large bowl, pour the syrup over the popcorn and mix together so the popcorn is sufficiently coated. With your hands, form tennis ball-sized sphere.
Let set, and wrap individually with plastic wrap. Yields 16 balls.
3 quarts plain popped corn (about 1/3 cup kernels)
1/4 cup butter
10 oz. bag marshmallows
food coloring (optional)
Put popped corn in a large bowl. Set aside.
Melt the butter and marshmallows in a stove top pot, stirring constantly. When they are melted, take off the heat and allow the mixture to cool until it can be touched. If you like, stir in a few drops of food coloring.
Using a wooden spoon, gently stir the melted mixture into the popcorn. Next, butter your hands and work quickly to form popcorn balls. Place balls on waxed paper to cool.
After the balls are cool, you may use warm corn syrup to stick gum drops or other candy decorations to the popcorn balls. The popcorn balls may be stored in sandwich bags. This makes enough for about 15 two-inch balls.