Makes about 12 popcorn balls
Add the canola oil to a 4-quart saucepan and heat over high heat. When the oil is hot, add popping corn. Keep pan moving constantly. When the corn stops popping, remove from heat.
Pour popcorn into a bowl and add the raisins and walnuts. Set aside. Heat the sugar over moderate heat, keeping an eye on it.
Once the caramel starts browning at the edges, begin to drag the sugar towards towards the center to prevent any burnt spots.
When all the sugar has liquified, add rum (optional), butter, vanilla and salt. Be careful as the caramel will splatter. Stir in the popcorn, nuts and raisins, coating each piece.
Turn out onto a greased piece of aluminum foil. Allow to cool slightly.
Butter hands or wax paper heavily and shape the popcorn into balls about 3-1/2 inches in diameter. Set aside to cool completely.
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