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Grammy Carl's Popcorn Balls

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 50 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 16 servings
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10 cups (4.4 ounces) popped popcorn

1 cup molasses 

1 cup sugar 

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for coating hands 

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar 


Special equipment:
a candy thermometer
  1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper; set aside. Place the popcorn in a large bowl; set aside.
  2. In a heavy medium pot, stir to combine the molasses, sugar, butter and vinegar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the mixture reaches 260 degrees F (hard ball stage) on a candy thermometer, 5 to 8 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then pour over the popcorn; fold and mix to coat using a rubber spatula. Let the popcorn cool slightly.
  3. Coat your hands well with butter and form the popcorn mixture into 1/2-cup balls, squeezing to keep the popcorn together. Place on the prepared baking sheet and let sit until completely cooled and hardened, about 20 minutes.
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