I think my favorite part of St. Patrick’s Day is trying to incorporate the color green into as many things as possible. So, I broke out the green food dye and looked around my kitchen for inspiration. My eyes fell upon our container of popcorn kernels and thus, this recipe for St. Patty’s popcorn balls was born.
Because we were undergoing several days of snowy weather, the kids were home from school and were able to help me. I honestly can’t say what they enjoyed more, making the popcorn balls or eating them. So, not only are they a tasty treat, they are also a fun family activity!
I prefer stovetop popcorn to microwave, but you can use either. Just make sure you leave out the salt in the recipe if you use pre-salted microwave popcorn.
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- 2 T unsalted butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ⅔ cup marshmallows
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 2-4 drops green food coloring
- 12 cups plain popped popcorn
- In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the corn syrup, butter, powdered sugar, marshmallows, salt, and vanilla.
- Stir frequently until mixture comes to a boil.
- Add 2-4 drops of green food coloring (depending on how dark you want the color to be) and stir well.
- Pour the mixture over the popcorn, mixing well to ensure each kernel is coated.
- Grease hands with shortening and quickly shape the coated popcorn into balls before it cools.
- To store, wrap each ball in plastic wrap and keep at room temperature.
A couple of important notes:
- The mixture will be hot when you are forming balls so don’t let younger kids help with shaping until it has cooled slightly or have them use a greased ice cream scoop to shape the balls.
- I like my popcorn balls to be more popcorn than candy coating. If you want ooey, gooey popcorn balls then you should double all ingredients except for the popcorn, which you should only increase by 1/3 (16 cups).