Sunday, November 2, 2014

A Year of Holidays: Popcorn Balls

I don't know what it is about Ree Drummond's presentation, but I want to make everything in this book. Everything. Even things that I'm pretty sure I'd pass right over in a different cookbook, like Popcorn Balls (pg 232), which are in the Halloween section, but, like the pancakes, could easily be tweaked for any holiday, season, or mood. They look so damn festive and kid-friendly, dyed yellow, with cheerful nubbins of candy corn and peanuts jutting out, that I couldn't resist.

I'd originally planned to make these for Halloween, because we were having pre-trick-or-treat dinner with friends and their two kids, and I felt strongly that the kids  needed to have Popcorn Balls in their lives.

I didn't get my act together in time to make them, even though they aren't complicated. You basically give popcorn the Rice Krispie Treat treatment, by coating them in melted buttery marshmallow. Can't be bad.
I thought the same kids would be at my friend's housewarming party this afternoon, so I brought the treats there, instead. Unfortunately for the young'uns, they were sick and stayed home. Fortunately for my group of pretending-to-be-adult friends, that meant more for us. Charlie, for some reason, was uninterested. I don't know how a kid can look at these festive balls of glory and say, "Nah," but that is what he did.

Like I said. More for us.

Everyone really, really liked them. There was some raving going on. I was absolutely  not expecting these to be such a hit with the grown-ups. It either proves that we're young at heart, or that we like big balls. Take your pick.

I have one complaint with the process. First you mix the popcorn into the melted marshmallow, and then you stir the candy in. This is harder than it sounds. Because the pot is still hot, the candy sinks to the bottom and then melts/adheres to the pot, and does not incorporate into the popcorn easily. Even though it would create another dish, I think there needs to be a step where you dump the marshmallowed popcorn into a cool bowl, and carry on from there.

Conclusion: Liked it. It was a surprise hit among the big kids.

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