What fun it is to serve — and enjoy — sweet and salty popcorn balls! This version includes a few more goodies in the mix for a twist on a traditional treat.
Take traditional popcorn balls to the next level by adding a few additional items to the mix. For a Gluten-free Goodie of the Week, try this recipe for cherry-almond popcorn balls. They’re sweet, a tiny bit salty and definitely crunchy! Serve them in individual cupcake liners for a great treat to enjoy at a picnic, a party or simply while watching a ball game on TV!
Cherry-almond popcorn balls recipe
- 6 cups popped popcorn, lightly salted (some full-size microwave popcorn bags equal about 6 cups)
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, plus 2 tablespoons extra
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped roasted almonds
- 1/4 cup dried cherries
- Small bowl of ice water (to dip your hands in)
- 12 paper cupcake liners
- Add the popped popcorn to a large bowl and set it aside.
- Place a saucepan over high heat and add the brown sugar and corn syrup. Stir the mixture as it reaches a boil. Make sure the brown sugar dissolves.
- Just after it reaches a boil, remove it from the heat and add in the butter and pure vanilla extract. Mix until the butter has melted.
- Immediately pour the mixture over the popcorn and add in the dried cherries and almonds. Mix to thoroughly coat all the ingredients.
- Dip your hands in the ice water and lightly shake off the excess water. Grab a handful of the popcorn mixture and shape it into a 2-inch ball (approximately). Press and pack the ball tightly so it holds together on its own. Place the popcorn ball on a baking sheet.
- Continue the same process with the remaining mixture, and make sure to dip your hands in the ice water after forming each popcorn ball.
- Transfer the shaped popcorn balls to individual paper cupcake liners to serve.
Pop up to make this gluten-free treat!