My inspiration for this recipe choice came to me after I read Leah's post about this month's smackdown theme. Sports, especially basketball, make me think of my childhood. Basketball was the first team sport I played and we were huge Bearcat basketball fans in my house growing up. The first spherical food from my childhood that came to mind was popcorn balls!
My pictures kinda tell the popcorn ball story but I also broke it down into simple steps.
Step #1- Kindly ask your mom for her popcorn ball recipe, if she's really nice like my mom she will rip out the recipe page from her Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. If she's really really nice (like my mom) she will also let you borrow her candy thermometer. Also, ask your mom to clarify what "soft ball stage" means; giggle quietly as she explains it.
Step #4- After you reach "soft ball stage" with the caramel sauce (I think it took about 12 minutes to get to this point) you are ready to pour the caramel over the popcorn. The easiest way to do this is to dump the popcorn onto the dining room table (or another large flat surface)and then pour the caramel over top; there's simply not a bowl big enough in my kitchen to do this. One online recipe recommended using dish gloves and coating them in cooking spray to mix everything together; this is a great idea and I will definitely do this next time. The caramel is so HOT and you have to mix it with the popcorn quickly or it will start to harden. This is very difficult with bare hands. **Remember to pull out all the un-popped kernels before you pour on the caramel sauce!** Remember to do a taste test!
Step #7- When all the balls have been formed, coat one popcorn ball with white chocolate by either dipping 1/2 of it directly into the bowl or drizzle it generously with white chocolate.
Step #8- After the white chocolate is applied, top the popcorn ball with the candy and sprinkles of your choice- get crazy! The beauty of decorating popcorn balls is that more is always more.
Step #9- Wait for the white chocolate to set and be careful not to move the popcorn balls around too much or the toppings will fall off. It took a couple hours for the white chocolate to harden completely. It's the perfect time to take a break for lunch, pop in another movie or eat all the leftover candy:)
Step #10- Admire the beautiful works of art! (The first two are Alex's, the third is Taylor's and the fourth is mine.)
Step #11- Eat the popcorn balls. Wrap any leftovers in plastic wrap to keep them fresh.