Easy, fun and delicious: popcorn balls are simple Christmas craft ideas you can give to neighbors for a treat, or eat them yourself as a reward for having been so good all year long. In case you need a recipe, or would like to try a new one here are few tried and tested popcorn recipes.
Marshmallow Popcorn Balls
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
½ cup unpopped popcorn
6 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 cups miniature marshmallows
* if you are popping the popcorn in an air popper omit the oil. You could substitute 4 quarts of popped microwave popcorn if you wish.
Step one: pop the pop corn and set aside
Step two: melt butter and marshmallows in microwave (about 2 min) do not over cook.
Step three: add vanilla, stir, and combine with popped corn.
Step four: wait until cool and form into popcorn balls.
Jazz it up a bit: add food coloring or decorate the balls with colorful candy or mini chocolate chips. Like the idea of color, but want to add a bit of flavor too? Omit the vanilla and add a bit of your favorite flavor of jell-o to the mix. This adds a fruity punch as well as holiday color.
Classic Carmel Popcorn Balls
2 quarts popped popcorn
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter (real butter, it won't turn out with margarine)
1/2 teaspoon salt
equal parts water and dark corn syrup (about 1/3 cup of each)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Step one: Pop the popcorn and set it aside.
Step two: Combine the next five ingredients (leave vanilla out) in a sauce pan and bring to a boil stirring frequently. Boil, without stirring until candy thermometer reads 270°F. Remove from heat and add vanilla.
Step three: Pour over popcorn. Stir to insure an even coat.
Step four: When it is cool enough to touch shape into balls.
A few tips to make these treats easier to create and eat: coat hands with butter or non-stick cooking spray before shaping them into balls. You can put sandwich baggies over your hands like gloves. This works well too.
To make these treats easier to eat, add a popsicle stick to each popcorn ball before they cool completely. To use as an edible Christmas tree ornament, simply make a loop of ribbon or yarn and embed the ends deep in the popcorn ball. It will hold itself together when it cools. This is one of the tastiest Christmas craft ideas yet!
These Christmas Craft Ideas are just a small sampling of the fun and creative crafts you can enjoy making with your kids at Christmas. Other simple and fabulous ideas include: Christmas placemats, paper bag Santa puppets, cotton ball snowmen or nutmeg oranges. Get crafting, and have a Merry Christmas.