Grandpa's Popcorn Balls Recipe Reviews - Allrecipes.com (Pg. 4)
Reviewed: Nov. 28, 2010
Super easy and delicious; I had a hard time getting the balls to stay together so I'm not sure if it was something I did or if the recipe directions were lacking. It was my first attempt and I'll definitely try them again.
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Reviewed: Nov. 16, 2010
A couple of hints. POPCORN: Pop it first and keep the correct amount in large bowl in a warm oven. Get the bowl hot as well. CARAMEL (1) stir sugar/butter mixture constantly over medium high heat until it begins to foam. Once foaming, leave it alone except for the occasional slow stir. (2) it needs to boil several minutes longer than you think.. the caramel will look ready, but if it hasn't reached the proper stage, it will turn to fudge instead of candy when it cools. (3) once it has reached the stage you are after (I like taffy stage) remove from heat, add vanilla ans stir slowly. (4) This is NOT THE TIME for KIDS to help. The hot caramel is extremely dangerous and will burn to the bone -- pour mixture onto the popcorn. Mix with two long handled wooden spoons. Be careful to not get your hands into the hot caramel. (5) Let the popcorn cool to the point where you can handle it with bare hands. Cover your hands with butter and begin forming balls. (This is where kids can safely help, just be sure they wash their hands first!). (6) You will need at least one helper in order to get all the popcorn formed into balls before they harden.
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Photo by Leigh Sheppard

Cooking Level: Expert

Living In: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Reviewed: Oct. 31, 2010
went and bought a candy thermometer took it all the way to hard crack stage. Syrup was then dark and popcorn balls taste burnt. Fail....
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Reviewed: Oct. 29, 2010
For those that like less sweet popcorn balls: omit the vanilla and the vinegar. add an extra 4-6 cups of popcorn to the 5 quart (20 cup) recipe. This worked fantastic for us! I did NOT use a thermomater for these... you need to reach hard crack WITHOUT over cooking, and sometimes the thermometer is not as effective as dropping into a cold glass of water. when it comes to a frothing boil to see where you are... if you can push it around into a ball but its still squishy its soft ball... if you can push it into a ball and it then gets hard its hard ball... and if you push it into a ball and it then crackles up or you can't quick get it into a ball before it crackles up its PERFECT. Mine did NOT turn brown before it reached this stage and in my skilled took only 5-10 minutes. They formed nice firm balls without breaking your teeth. I cooked in very large cast iron skillet with tall 4 1/2" sides.
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Reviewed: Oct. 28, 2010
DON'T go for hard crack stage on the caramel sauce if you like CHEWY popcorn balls! The first two batches I made I waited for hard crack stage and the popcorn/caramel was terribly hard to mix and turned to hard candy right away. The balls did form nicely but when we went to eat them, we could only eat 1/2 before the caramel stuck to our teeth in a death grip/filling wrenching way. No one ate more than 1/2 ball. The next batch I made I cooked the caramel to between soft and firm ball stage(240 F): the popcorn and caramel mixed well, the balls are nice and chewy though forming the balls was a bit tougher but with a little work and buttering your hands, you'll be fine.
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Reviewed: Oct. 16, 2010
Very good recipe and easy to do. I used butter microwave popcorn. Just watching to keep kernals out. I did leave out the vinegar.
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Reviewed: Sep. 3, 2010
This has a very good taste, I had some trouble making the balls and so I will try again, recommend having someone stirring while you are pouring, to get it to mix correctly or it will go to the bottom.
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Reviewed: Jun. 21, 2010
It was good, but just wasn't sweet enough for me. My husband, who has little to no sweet tooth thought it was perfect, though...so I guess it depends on who you're making it for!
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Photo by Bethany

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Sumter, South Carolina, USA
Living In: Warrenton, Virginia, USA

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Reviewed: Mar. 16, 2010
My toddler loved making these and then eating them.
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Photo by BERRYFINES

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Falls Church, Virginia, USA
Living In: Burke, Virginia, USA

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Reviewed: Jan. 1, 2010
Very addictive p-corn balls!
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