Traditional Popcorn Balls

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In the kitchen today, chef Beverly Astin taught us how to make classic popcorn balls with a fun twist for Halloween. Here is the traditional recipe:

Traditional Popcorn Balls


  • 7 quarts popped popcorn
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Food coloring (optional)


  1. Place popcorn in a large baking pan, keep warm in a 200° oven.
  2. In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, water and salt. 
  3. Cook over medium heat until a candy thermometer reads 235° (soft ball stage).
  4. Remove from the heat.
  5. Add the butter, vanilla and food coloring if desired; stir until butter is melted.
  6. Immediately pour over popcorn and stir until evenly coated. 
  7. When mixture is cool enough to handle, quickly shape into 3 inch balls, dipping hands in cold water to prevent sticking.

Print recipe here.

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