Salted Caramel Popcorn Balls Without Corn Syrup

Ever since I discovered (and reinvented) this recipe for salted caramel popcorn balls a few years ago, making these sticky, sweet, and slightly salty treats has become a seasonal tradition for my kids and I!

There’s just something about chilly mornings, blustery days, and long, cozy evenings that sort of calls for sticky, chewy popcorn balls, don’t you think?

 

Salted Caramel Popcorn Balls without Corn Syrup | recipe by Kristy @ Little Natural Cottage

These are surprisingly simple to make and sooooo delicious. They have an awesome caramely-sweet-crunchy taste. Perfect for an autumn snack, holiday gift baskets, or even fund raisers!

 

AND, since this recipe doesn’t use corn syrup (I try to stay away from that ingredient) they’re even healthy to boot. 

Well, sort of

(We can pretend, can’t we?)

 

Salted Caramel Popcorn Balls without Corn Syrup | recipe by Kristy @ Little Natural Cottage

Food always tastes better (1) when you wear a pretty apron, and (2) when you have cute helpers.

 

To make these yummy popcorn balls, you’ll need

  • a sauce pan
  • a candy thermometor
  • a wooden spoon
  • and a muffin/cupcake tin

 

Salted Caramel Popcorn Balls without Corn Syrup | recipe by Kristy @ Little Natural Cottage

I buy organic popping corn in bulk from Azure Standard. We enjoy it as an evening snack A LOT!

The recipe:

approx 6 cups popped corn
1 C nuts (pecans or peanuts)
¾ C honey
1 C raw, organic sugar 
1 TBSP molasses
½ cup water
¼ C salted butter
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Salted Caramel Popcorn Balls without Corn Syrup | recipe by Kristy @ Little Natural Cottage

Learning how to make a rich, caramel-y sauce without corn syrup was an exciting discovery for me!

Directions:

Place popped corn and nuts in a large bowl; stir and set aside.


In a medium saucepan, combine honey, raw sugar, molasses, water, and salt. Place over low heat, stirring until mixture begins to boil. Add butter and stir until melted. Add vanilla just as the mixture begins to thicken and foam. Continue to cook until candy thermometor reaches firm ball stage (248 degrees).  (Stir frequently to prevent scorching!)


Remove pan from heat and pour mixture over popcorn and nuts; stir with a wooden spoon until completely coated with “caramel” mixture.

Salted Caramel Popcorn Balls without Corn Syrup | recipe by Kristy @ Little Natural Cottage

One of my early batches of caramel popcorn balls…

 

Salted Caramel Popcorn Balls without Corn Syrup | recipe by Kristy @ Little Natural Cottage

It’s amazing what sweet memories you can make, even in the tiny kitchen of a rent house! The pics in this tutorial are from a few years ago…

To shape into balls: With an ice cream scoop, spoon hot popped corn into greased muffin cups (it’s WAY too hot to candle with your hands).

Press into a ball.

Repeat until all muffin cups are full. Recipe should yield enough mixture to make one dozen balls.

Let popcorns balls cool until set, about 10 to 15 minutes. To remove, slide the flat side of a butter knife around the edges of the balls and gently lift.

So delicious!!!

My little Mr. C always has been our official food tester!  ;)

My little Mr. C always has been our official food tester! ;)

 

Salted Caramel Popcorn Balls Without Corn Syrup, recipe by Kristy @ Little Natural Cottage

 

If you love making holiday treats with your kids, I’d love for you to take a peek at my ebook, Holiday Mixes and Gifts in a Jar.

This ebook is simply a collection of some of our favorite homemade treats for giving as holiday gifts.  The popcorn ball recipe in this post is included in the ebook, along with nearly twenty other holiday-inspired favorites.

We love homemade goodies around here! 

 

Holiday Mixes & Gifts in a Jar
Holiday Quick Mixes & Gifts in a Jar was born out of my own necessity to create Christmas gifts that are healthy, frugal, and simple to prepare.
Price: $3.95
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Comments

  1. DL says

    I tried these last night, after wanting to make my own popcorn balls for years. They were awesome, the kids loved them, and the homemade caramel came out great. Thanks for this recipe! DL

  2. Stephanie says

    Thanx so much for the corn syrup free recipe! can’t wait to try it. 
     We make carmel corn often, but didn’t have a recipe w/o corn syrup.

  3. Keefer07 says

    this recipe looks great!  something i have found to be a great substitute for corn syrup is brown rice syrup.  It works great in every recipe i’ve tried including peanut butter fudge and is much healthier.  :)

  4. Hockeyda says

    I added a 2 inch piece of finely grated ginger in the sauce and on the popcorn and spices,1 tsp cinnamon,  1/4 tsp allspice and 1/8 tsp nutmeg in the sauce for gingerbread popcorn balls and they are delicious!  It made 36 mini muffin tin balls and 6 big muffin tin balls!

  5. The Shady Porch says

    I can’t wait to try these! Love the No Corn Syrup! Your picture makes me want to make them right now!! :)

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