Old Time Popcorn Balls Recipe - Allrecipes.com
Old Time Popcorn Balls Recipe

Old Time Popcorn Balls

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"A favorite treat, very popular with my family, hope it's just as popular with yours."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 15 - 20 tennis ball sized balls Change Servings


  1. Butter the sides of a large saucepan. In the sauce pan combine the sugar, water, salt, corn syrup and vinegar. Cook over medium heat to the hard ball stage 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Stir in the vanilla and slowly pour the hot mixture over the popped popcorn, stirring just to mix well.
  2. Butter hands lightly and shape into balls. Mixture will be hot so be careful. Place balls on waxed paper to cool.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Oct 30, 2007

helpful hint: when making mixture get a glass of cold water, drip mixture in and listen to it, if it crackles, its ready, just do this often you don't want your candy to burn! it works and they come out great. we love them

Most Helpful Critical Review
Apr 30, 2003

These were a disaster for me too. )o: Seemed like I had to cook and stir the syrup mixture forever and then it "sugared" after just a few hours. My girlfriend said, she loved ME but these were the worst popcorn balls she'd ever had! Ugh! Going to try a batch that calls for butter.....


54 Ratings

Jul 02, 2005

All of the one star/negative reviews are obviously from people who are not willing to invest the necessary time to make this recipe. To say "it never did reach hard ball stage" is a ridiculous statement. As with any taffy-type candy, it takes a while, but of course it will eventually reach that stage. I made the popcorn balls this afternoon and they turned out great. The only thing I may do differently next time is to take the candy to crack stage so it is a bit more brittle (personal preference). Thanks for this good old fashioned recipe, Lynne.

Oct 31, 2005

I loved this recipe, it tasted just like my grandmother's popcorn balls. I think those who tried this recipe and did not wait long enough for the sugar mixture to turn to hardball stage, just did not wait long enough. It did take quite some time to get to that point over a medium/low fire but it did reach the hardball stage. The end result was WONDERFUL and the mixture did not "sugar" after it had set for a few hours...they were perfect and tasted wonderful, just like Grandma's. Thank you Lynne for posting this recipe.

Dec 06, 2007

This was a fun one!!! I made two batches in one hour and the party loved them... I ate 8 myself... I had no idea what the hardening stage was until it happened.. then i waited bout ten more minutes to make sure and made the batch in a CLEAN kitchen sink and i was done with in an hour.. with two batches... honestly.. try the sink

Nov 25, 2003

I did this recipe for my children and never made popcorn balls before. I added yellow food coloring to the candy mix and candy corn to the popcorn before the candy mix was added and shaped them like corn on the cob for Thanksgiving. I love the recipe thanks so much. Angie

Dec 22, 2008

The trick to getting this recipe is a thermometer! They came out ok, but a little chewier than I like. For those having trouble with the syrup, DON'T cook over medium heat! It will take too long and you won't have a workable syrup. Mix, enough to combine, then let it cook over high heat (and yes, it's still going to take about 10-15 min.). Watch it carefully! (mine jumped from 220* to 250* in about 10 seconds)Good luck!

Oct 28, 2004

Couldn't get it to the hard ball stage. The mixture is WAY to watery. Must have gotten mixed up. Looking for another recipe.


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  • Calories
  • 220 kcal
  • 11%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 41.7 g
  • 13%
  • Cholesterol
  • 0 mg
  • 0%
  • Fat
  • 6.3 g
  • 10%
  • Fiber
  • 1.2 g
  • 5%
  • Protein
  • 1.1 g
  • 2%
  • Sodium
  • 239 mg
  • 10%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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