|Marshmallow Peanut or Peanut Butter Chick-o-stick? Who cares, 'cuz--BALLS!|
Instead we whipped up crunchy popcorn balls loaded with gooey chunks of vegan marshmallows and roasted peanuts and then made another batch full of crushed Chick-o-sticks, a swirl of creamy peanut butter and more roasted peanuts.
The Chick-o-stick balls are my favorite, but then I LOVE Chick-o-sticks. Really, they're both awesome, and it's not an easy decision to choose faves.
|These smell so good and look so pretty. I'm thankful they take a long time to eat, or I'd be ingesting way too many.|
Crunchy Chick-o-Stick Popcorn Balls
Crunchy Marshmallow Peanut Popcorn Balls
- 1 cup unbleached granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (half stick) vegan butter
- 1/3 cup organic corn syrup or half organic corn syrup and half agave nectar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 cups air-popped popcorn (two quarts)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- a dab of Wilton icing color paste
- a candy thermometer
- blue batch = 1/3 cup roasted peanut halves and 6-7 oz. vegan marshmallows
- orange batch = 1/3 cup roasted peanut halves, a tablespoon of creamy peanut butter and 3 oz. crushed Chick-o-sticks
- Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment, and get out a big bowl large enough to accommodate the popcorn.
- Put the sugar, butter, corn syrup/agave and salt in a medium sized sauce pan. Stir to moisten the sugar.
- Clip the candy thermometer to your saucepan and bring the caramel ingredients to a boil over medium/medium-high heat. Stir frequently to make sure the sugar does not burn. Once the caramel comes to a boil, stop stirring. Bring the caramel up to 270F, which is just past the hardball stage. Watch carefully!
- Immediately remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and icing color. Stir well to distribute the color.
- Quickly pour the caramel over the popcorn and toss in your mix-ins (if using marshmallows, throw them in after a fat minute so they don't dissolve into the caramel). Stir well with a large spoon to distribute the caramel evenly over the popcorn and mix-ins. You want to get as much coated in caramel-y goodness as possible.
- When the caramel cools down a minute to a temperature you can tolerate, oil your hands and form popcorn balls, work quickly as they begin to set up fast. Make them as big as you like, and use medium pressure to make the balls uniform and compact. They will get very crunchy when cool.
|Sugar skull pumpkininess.|