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Popcorn Ball Recipe

I remember popcorn balls from my childhood. They were a delight. The Ingalls family enjoyed popcorn balls as a special treat at Christmas.
"Laura kept popping corn and Ma made it into balls until the large dishpan was heaped with their crispness."                  
                                                                           ~ These Happy Golden Years

For our Little House birthday party, we made popcorn balls. Guests were able to "purchase" the popcorn balls at the penny store during the birthday party as one of the activities. This popcorn ball recipe uses ingredients you may have on hand. Laura would have used molasses as her sweetener.
Popcorn ball recipe.

Popcorn Ball Recipe

8 cups freshly popped plain popcorn (1/2 cup unpopped)
6 tablespoons butter
5 cups miniature marshmallows
food coloring, if desired

1. Prepare a large bowl with shortening, oil, or cooking spray.  Place popped popcorn in the bowl.  (The bowl needs to be large enough to allow stirring of the popcorn.)  Prepare a length of wax paper.
2. Melt butter in a medium saucepan.  Stir in marshmallows.  Stir constantly until marshmallows are melted.  Add food coloring, if desired, and continue to stir until thoroughly blended.
3. Pour marshmallow mixture over popcorn.  Gently stir until the popcorn is evenly coated. 
4. Coat your hands in shortening. Be very generous.
5. Using your greased hands or a greased, rounded measuring cup (like these), scoop up a cup of popcorn.  Then use your hands to pack it together into a tight ball.  If it sticks to your hands, then you didn't grease them enough.  Place balls on wax paper for several hours.  
6. Wrap each popcorn ball in plastic wrap or serve.

Please Note:
~ If you have never used mushroom popcorn, it is ideal for popcorn balls!  This popcorn is all fluff and little kernel. 
~ If you don't have a popcorn popper, try a bowl in your microwave for fresh popcorn.
~ If you double the recipe, separate the popcorn into two large bowls and reheat the marshmallow mixture in before pouring over the second batch.

~ Annette Whipple
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