RECIPE FROM "SANDY'S
Old Fashioned Popcorn Balls
(Sandy's Note: When my son was growing up, I used to make these popcorn balls, as well as caramel apples on a stick to give to trick-or-treaters on Halloween. It is regrettable that "sick" people made this wonderful tradition of giving out home-made treats a thing-of-the-past. ... but you can still make them for your own family ... and they'll love 'em).
6 quarts of popped corn
3/4 cup light corn syrup
2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pop corn and place in a large pan.
In a saucepan, combine syrup, brown sugar, water, and salt. Cook over low heat until sugar dissolves, gently stirring continually.
Once sugar is completely dissolved, cook mixture over medium heat, without stirring, to hard ball stage (when dropped in cold water, mixture will form a hard ball), or until candy thermometer registers 254 degrees. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.
Quickly pour hot syrup over top of popcorn, stirring gently but quickly with a wooden spatula, trying not to break the popcorn kernals, but making certain all kernals are covered.
Put on latex gloves that you grease with butter and start shaping mixture into balls.
Place balls on wax paper to dry.
When dry, wrap in saran wrap and store in a cool, dry place.
Makes approximately 2 dozen.