Marmalade Popcorn Balls! (More Popcorn Day Stuff!)

There’s only three more shopping days until National Popcorn Day! That would be January 19th, when popcorn fanatics unite to celebrate a versatile food that has been around for centuries. Did you know that popcorn was an important part of early 16th century Aztec ceremonies where women wore ceremonial headdresses made from the popped kernels of maize?  Today, popcorn is something that we feel pretty good about feeding to our kids. Here’s a recipe from that gives a little twist on the traditional popcorn ball. It is sweet, it is delicious, and kids can even get in on the fun by helping you shape the ooey-gooey popcorn into balls.  [photo via flickr]

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 5 quarts popped popcorn
  1. Combine sugar, water, marmalade, salt, light corn syrup and vinegar in a saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.
  2. Cook to hard-ball stage (250 degrees Fahrenheit).
  3. Pour slowly over popped popcorn and mix thoroughly.
  4. Butter hands and shape into 2 1/2-inch balls

Popcorn may be hot, so make sure to check the temperature before letting children help shape the balls. For less mess, try using plastic gloves instead of buttered hands to shape the popcorn balls. Storethe  formed popcorn balls in an airtight container, or maybe wrap a few individually in colored plastic wrap to give as gifts. After all, this recipe yields 15 popcorn balls.