Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Jello-Flavored Popcorn Balls

Good morning class. Today we are making Popcorn Balls! It's so super easy that I've asked my lovely assistant, Alli to help me (someone had to take pictures for y'all, right!?).

First, you need to gather your ingredients and tools.You need a popcorn popper, popping corn, a small box of any flavor of jello (generic brands don't usually have the fun flavors like raspberry, and berry-blue. I just buy whatever's cheapest if I can find the flavor I want), butter, wax paper, and marshmallows. Aside from this you will need: a microwave, one HUGE bowl, and two large bowls (at least one being microwaveable). I didn't bother taking pictures of those, sorry. I'm sure you'll live ;)

Following my assistants example, you should FIRST wash your hands before touching any food, or anything the food may touch. Be thourough - using just water is NOT good enough. Do you want people to get sick? Yuck.
Next, we'll want to lay out two long sheets of wax paper on a flat surface, like your table or a counter. If you have little, nosey kids, be smart (unlike me) and clear off some counter space where grabby hands can't reach. It will save you a lot of trouble later, promise.

Now we're ready to start! Pour 1/2 cup of popping corn into your air-popper, and turn on! (duh)

If you haven't already, place one of your large bowls under the popper's spout to catch the popcorn as it comes out. This is what should start happening:
I'll bet you didn't know that popcorn starts out as kernels, did you!? Oh, you did? Well, don't I feel silly! When all of the kernels have popped, grab your HUGE bowl and start sorting the popcorn.
Why you ask?! Because if you don't sort your kernels, then you will have this:in your popcorn balls! EWWWWW - gross! You could bust a tooth. Throw that junk away! Okie-dokie... let's get this show on the road. Now that you've sorted your popcorn, get your other large bowl (make sure it's microwaveable) and fill it with 5 tablespoons of butter. Put the bowl in the microwave, and nuke that butter 'till it's all melted. It should look something like this:

Now you're ready to pour in your marshmallows. You'll need one 16 oz. bag. (See, I'm not partial to namebrands! I use generic ALL the time!)
Stir the marshmallows and butter together 'till all the 'mallows are coated. ( I had Blake monitoring the situation. He made sure Alli was doing it right!) Then put the mixture back into the microwave for another good minute and a half or so. They'll come out looking kinda puffy. So stir the crap (I mean "air") out of them until they are nice and creamy looking and the only thing they have in common with their past selves is their color.

At this point I add in the jello and stir, stir, stir. Like I said before, use whatever flavor you want. My favorites are berry flavors like raspberry, strawberry and berry-blue (which we happen to be making today). YUMMO!
You could probably add in the jello before you start mixing the marshmallows into paste, but I always get excited and forget. Oh well, as long as it gets done before you pour it onto the popcorn, I don't care when you do it! Okay... Remember that HUGE bowl with the popcorn in it? Grab that and set it on your work station. Pour your jello/marshmallow mixture over your popcorn ans stir like a mad woman! No, not really, but stir it thouroughly until ALL the popcorn is well coated in goo!

Now take your popcorn and transfer it to the wax paper on YOUR COUNTER (remember? not the table!) and let it sit for a minute while you get ready for the last steps.

Butter your hands. Yes, you heard me right! Don't be a wuss. It's only butter! You can't absorb calories through your skin - atleast, I don't think you can... Anyways, just like you would with lotion (minus the backs of your hands) coat your palms in some (lots actually) butter. Now you're ready to make the balls! Grabbing a handful at a time, form the popcorn into softball size... well... balls - there's just no other word for it is there?! Make sure to press the corn together so that the shape stays. And that's it! Easy peasy! You'll probably have to reload the butter lotion after every ball (I know I did). Just let the popcorn balls rest, and cool down before eating. They are super SUPER sticky and messy right now. I've noticed that they get "less" sticky if you let them sit for atleast an hour or so. But, there's nothing wrong with attacking one right away, if you know how to wash your hands, and not make a mess of yourself. ;)

This recipe yields approzimately 9 softball size Popcorn Balls. Enjoy! (We do!)


grammaDawn said...

It was so cute getting that call from Alli telling me to go look at the computer. What a fun day for her and the popcorn balls look so yummy! Haven't had those for years.

Hieb Family said...

I love that face she makes!!

Stephanie said...

If Alli can do it, maybe I can too! She is so cute.