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Preheat oven to 300°F. Remove all unpopped kernels from popped popcorn. Put the popcorn in a greased 17-by-12-by-2-inch baking or roasting pan. Keep warm in the oven while making syrup.
Butter the sides of a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Combine sugar, water, corn syrup, vinegar and salt in the saucepan. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils, stirring to dissolve sugar (about 6 minutes). Clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Reduce heat to medium; continue boiling at a moderate, steady rate, stirring occasionally, until thermometer registers 250°F, hard-ball stage (about 20 minutes).
Remove pan from heat; remove thermometer. Stir in vanilla. Pour syrup mixture over the hot popcorn and stir gently to coat, adding candies as desired. Cool until the popcorn mixture can be handled easily. With buttered hands, quickly shape the mixture into 2-1/2-inch diameter balls. Wrap each popcorn ball in plastic wrap. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days.