How to make popcorn balls

Sep 12, 2011 at 3:00 a.m. ET

Making and decorating popcorn balls is a fun way to get kids involved in the kitchen. Whether you use your favorite recipe or try ours, you're sure to have a blast creating these crunchy treats.

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Marshmallow popcorn balls


  • 10 cups natural popcorn, popped
  • 2 bags mini-marshmallows (8 ounces each)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Food coloring (optional)


  1. In a saucepan, heat the mini-marshmallows, unsalted butter, vanilla extract and sugar until blended, stirring constantly. (To make colored balls, add two or three drops of food coloring.) Bring to a boil for 60 seconds. Remove from heat, but don't let it cool.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, pour the mixture over the popcorn and fold carefully using a spatula until well coated.
  3. When it's cool enough to touch, let the kids shape the mixture into balls using their hands. Place the balls on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper.
  4. Let the balls cool before decorating.

Decorating tips

  • Make edible glue by whisking together equal amounts of water and meringue powder (available at craft, baking supply and grocery stores). Set out an assortment of candies (red-hots, licorice or red whips, chocolate chips, edible glitter etc.) and let your kids use their imaginations. They can make silly faces or go with a holiday or movie theme.
  • For Halloween, make popcorn ball spiders using black licorice for the legs and round candies for the eyes.
  • Make clowns using sugar cones decorated with colorful candies for hats.
  • Make popcorn balls into gifts for their friends by placing the creations in plastic sandwich bags and tying them off with bows.

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