Readers of Chemistry Cachet know that I am a HUGE fan of popcorn. Honestly, it is my favorite snack of all-time and in all forms including these pumpkin spice popcorn balls AND these traditional popcorn balls.
First of all, I am so happy I married a guy who is a popcorn fanatic like me. Neither one of us can go see a movie without indulging in a huge bag of popcorn. It is my one true guilty pleasure in life.
Popcorn isn’t always a guilty pleasure though. It can be a really healthy little snack to enjoy every day.
I always keep bags of healthy SkinnyPop Popcorn on hand for when I have the munchies in between meals.
With Halloween literally a week away, I wanted to create one more festive recipe for you that can be enjoyed by kids and adults, even those who have food allergies like dairy and gluten.
The other recipe I am sharing today is a very special one, Butterfinger Popcorn Balls. One of my best friends and I (28 years of friendship now), always celebrated the holidays together in some way. Starting from about five years of age, we had sleepovers for Halloween, Christmas, New Years, Valentine’s Day and anything else we had an excuse to celebrate.
In high school, we decided to throw a legit, old-fashioned Halloween party for our friends. We even added dry ice to the punch and dressed up in our witches hats complete with glow in the dark fingernails and eyelashes.
And we had ALL the snacks and candy you can think of.
I wanted to make something that was an old-fashioned treat, so I thought popcorn balls would be the perfect idea!
First, here is the recipe for super easy, healthy unique pumpkin spice popcorn balls.
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- 4 cups of popped popcorn
- 10 tsp of raw honey
- 1 tsp pumpkin spice extract**
- 1 tsp pumpkin spice
- Festive sprinkles (optional)
- First, heat up the honey on the stove top on low heat until it is a very thin consistency. This can also be done in microwave for a few seconds, but watch closely.
- Once off the heat, stir in the pumpkin spice extract and pumpkin spice.
- Make sure popcorn is in a large bowl, then pour honey mixture over the popcorn. Stir around and make sure each piece is coated.
- Sprinkle in some sprinkles if you would like at this point.
- This will need to sit for about 10 minutes to allow the honey to get sticky again. You can test it to see how well a small ball forms.
- Once it is sticky enough, roll small balls and smash down well until it stays in shape.
- Let it sit on wax paper or pop in the fridge to let it firm up quickly.
- If you don't have pumpkin spice extract, you can sub maple extract.
Now, I want to share with you this very old-fashioned popcorn ball recipe I’ve been making since I was about 16!
These are always a HUGE HIT at parties!
3.5 cups of marshmallows
6-9 mini butterfingers (or any chocolate candy)
6 cups of popped popcorn
1/4 cup butter
1. Add the marshmallows and butter to a large pot (preferably non-stick). Heat on low or medium low until mixture is melted together and creamy. It does take awhile, but lower heat is best so it doesn’t burn.
2. Meanwhile, chop up the candy into small pieces and add to the popcorn.
3. Pour the popcorn into the melted marshmallow mixture and stir around until it’s all coated.
4. SPRAY YOUR HANDS with cooking spray and form large balls with the popcorn mixture. Place on wax paper and allow to cool.
Just for fun, here is the original recipe I printed out! I was in NFS in high school (food science class) and one of our projects was to make a recipe book. I included this recipe among others I loved, and I have been using this since then!
Check out this video for more details on these traditional popcorn balls!
Extract is the best chemist invention in my opinion. It allows for a huge punch of flavor without changing the texture. I use this pumpkin spice extract and love it! You can use vanilla extract if you don’t have it. It won’t have as good of a pumpkin spice flavor, but will taste good too!
Other pumpkin spice favorites: