Sunday, April 14, 2013

Caramel Popcorn Balls : Little Thumbs Up

Clearing my pantry : Popcorn kernels. I bought a pack of popcorn kernels quite sometime ago and the expiry date is not far off, so I need to use them quick. These are popcorn kernels meant to be popped in the microwave oven and there are three bags of popcorn kernels in one pack. I have used one bag and there are two more which I have completely forgotten, been sitting in my pantry all these months. 

I immediately thought of Caramel Popcorn Balls from "Back In The Day Bakery Cookbook", as I've just happened to browse through the book the day before. And this is so perfect for Little Thumbs Up, where the ingredient for this month is Corns, and the host is Esther from Copycake Kitchen

Pop the corn kernels in the microwave oven, so convenient. Follow the instructions on the pack and in just about three minutes you would get fluffy popcorns.

The popped corns, this is the amount from 1 bag, which yields about 6 cups of pop corns, so I made only half a recipe. I have adjusted the amount of sugar and corn syrup slightly, my measurement for half a recipe is listed in blue in the recipe below.

These are super easy to make, the only thing is, it takes sometime for the sugar to turn caramel and you've got to monitor the temperature carefully. I really wish I have one of those instant read candy thermometer! Before you start with the cooking of the caramel, grease a cookie sheet with butter and spread the popped corn evenly. Next, get ready a spatula coated with some oil or butter. Then proceed with the making of the caramel. Once the caramel is done, stir in the vanilla extract and pour the caramel all over the popped corns. Using the greased spatula, toss the popcorns until completely coated. Leave to cool for 5 minutes and with buttered hands, shape the popcorn into balls.

A definite Thumbs Up from the kiddos!

Sweet, gooey, sticky and slightly salty. It has the melt-in-the-mouth feel. As you bite into the popcorn balls, they sort of stick to your teeth, after that it melts away, gooey and yum! The kids love it, a treat indeed! My son brought some to school to share with his friend and his friend was very happy indeed. His friend told him "Wow, your mommy is very clever"! hahahaha! This is perfect to make for kids' parties, it can be made in advance and store in an airtight container for a few days.

I'm linking this post with Little Thumbs Up, where the ingredient for this month is Corn, hosted by Esther from Copycake Kitchen and organised by Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids and Doreen from my little favourite DIY.

A little announcement :
The next host for Little Thumbs Up in the month of May, shall be hosted by me! And the chosen ingredient is Mushroom.  Little Thumbs Up is organized by my baking buddy, Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids, and Doreen from my favourite DIY and each month a participating host will nominate an ingredient, and everyone is welcome to cook or bake using the selected ingredient of the month. Everyone is welcome to join in, no matter where you are from. A thumb-nail link will be provided on the host's blog post at the start of event, which is the first Tuesday of the month and it will stay open right up to the last day of that month. You can read all about Little Thumbs Up event from here.
Hope everyone can join in this fun event. The next Little Thumbs Up, selected ingredient, Mushroom shall start on 7th May, I'm looking forward to your support and see all of your delicious mushrooms yummies!

Meanwhile, get your Corn yummies going and link to the host of this month, Esther from Copycake Kitchen.

for half a recipe, refer to my adjustments listed in blue 
Caramel Popcorn Balls
(adapted from "Back In The Day Bakery Cookbook", Cheryl & Griffith Day)
12 cups popped corn (6 cups)
1 cup granulated sugar (1/3 cup)
1 cup packed light brown sugar (1/2 cup)
3/4 cup light corn syrup (1/4 cup)
1 cup water (1/2 cup)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for shaping the balls (2 tbsps)
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar (1/2 tsp)
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (a pinch)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (1/2 tsp)

Special equipment
candy thermometer

  1. Spread the popcorn on two lightly buttered baking sheets.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, 1 cup water, the corn syrup, butter, vinegar, and salt and heat over medium heat, stirring, until the sugars dissolve. Insert a candy thermometer and bring to a boil, without stirring, then cook until the mixture reaches 250degrees F. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  3. Pour the sugar syrup evenly over the popcorn, tossing the popcorn with a buttered heatproof spatula until completely coated. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. When the popcorn is cool enough to handle, coat your hands with butter and shape the popcorn into large balls, you should have 12 to 15 balls. Let the popcorn balls cool completely.
  5. Wrap the popcorn balls individually in wax paper or small cellophane bags and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.


  1. wah.. can give one big bowl while i watch hbo?crunch crunch crunch

  2. Who doesn't love popcorn ? I bought some cheese powder months ago maybe I'll buy some popcorn and use that powder to flavor it :D Love your caramel popcorn balls , simple and easy to prepare ; they look pretty yummy as well !

  3. Mouthwatering here, wat a terrific and super tempting balls..

  4. Wow, Popcorn!!!! The best snack for movie!!!! I love these caramel popcorn balls look super cute and yummy!!!!

  5. Acabei de conhecer o seu blog e achei maravilhoso,sempre quis aprender fazer pipoca desse jeito! Obrigada por compartilhar. Me visite:
    Siga-me e pegue o meu selinho!!!


    Beijos Marie.

  6. I love caramel popcorn and haven't had it for so long - great idea.

  7. Whoa, Joyce, this is another diet buster! Caramel popcorn is something I cannot resist. I think it is better to eat mushrooms hah! hah! Will give you my support on LTU :)

  8. Hi clever mummy Joyce,

    I must agree with your son's friends, you are always clever with all your cooking and baking. These kids must be feeling lucky to be invited to your house :D


  9. Your have made ordinary pop corn special! Your son's friend is definitely right in that compliment. Will certainly be supporting the mushroom event. I love mushrooms and have a few recipes I want to try out.

  10. Hi! You have a nice blog with amazing clicks . I have just started following you and it would be highly encouraging if you may visit/follow me back.

  11. Joyce,
    This is a super addictive:D
    My kids will munch non stop!!
    Love to read about how you always cleared your pantry:D
    Useful tips, thanks!

  12. This is a good party food for kids.

  13. Wow! you even make your own popcorn! Really very clever indeed:D Add some nuts and it'll be even more delicious!

  14. yes, clever mummy!! are you in cloud 9 now? LOL!!

  15. This looks so easy and delicious! I love it!

  16. Se ve irresistible me encanta quiero ir al cine ehhh ,abrazos y abrazos.

  17. How did you know I had a bag of popcorn in my pantry? This is a perfect recipe, and I can't wait to make it. So adorable! Thank you for sharing, my friend!

  18. Now that my youngest is in college, I think I have a ton of popcorn that's about to expire! And I love caramel corn! Perfect treat for me :)