Know what we love to make for Christmas? Popcorn balls! Homemade popcorn balls are a delicious departure from the usual cookies and candies that are offered up during the holidays, and nothing beats a fresh popcorn ball with a cup of hot cocoa. They also look great as a Christmas tree decoration! Homemade popcorn balls are so simple to make, you’ll want to have them year-round.
Start by heating 2 tbsp. of vegetable or canola oil over medium-high heat in a large, deep pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add 1 cup of popcorn kernels. Cover the pot with the lid and agitate the pot constantly over the hot burner while the corn pops. When the popping sounds slow, remove the pot from the heat and dump the popped popcorn into a large bowl that has been greased with butter or cooking spray. Set the popcorn aside.
In a medium saucepan, melt 2 sticks (1 cup) of unsalted butter over low heat. Add 10 cups of miniature marshmallows to the butter. Stir the marshmallow mixture constantly until the marshmallows are completely melted. (At this time, you can also add extract or cocoa powder, or melt some candy in the marshmallow mixture to flavor the popcorn balls. Some of our favorite add-ins are 2 tsp. of Dutch cocoa powder, 1/4 cup of crushed organic mini candy canes or 2 tbsp. of cinnamon imperials.) Remove the marshmallow mixture from the heat and let it cool slightly.
Pour the marshmallow mixture over the popcorn in the prepared bowl. Grease your hands with butter or cooking spray, then use your fingers to evenly coat the popcorn kernels in the marshmallow. Form the mixture into 16 to 20 popcorn balls.
Serve the popcorn balls immediately or wrap them in decorative plastic wrap to gift later. To display the popcorn balls on the Christmas tree, wrap each popcorn ball in a square of red or green clear cellophane. Gather the excess cellophane at the top of the ball and secure it with a piece of decorative ribbon. After knotting the ribbon around the top tightly, pull the tails up and tie the ends together to form the ribbon into a loop. Hang the popcorn balls on the branches of the Christmas tree by the ribbon loops.
We hope you have as much fun making and eating these treats as we do. Have a sweet weekend!