Maple-Caramel Popcorn Balls

For the popcorn:

  • 1 cup Popcorn
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • salt

For the caramel:

  • 2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup Lyle’s golden syrup
  • 1/4 cup maple
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 2 Tbsp butter

Optional additions:

  • Salted peanuts
  • Almonds
  • Dried cranberries
  • Chocolate chips
  • …be creative!!

In a large pot with a lid, heat the oil for the popcorn with one corn kernel inside.  When the single kernel pops, add the rest of the popcorn kernels and place the lid on.  Shake the pot so all the popcorn kernels are covered in oil.  Keep shaking the pot gently as the popcorn starts to pop.  When you don’t hear any more popping, turn off the heat and remove the lid.  Transfer the popcorn to a large mixing bowl.  Add a generous sprinkle of salt and any additional items you like (no more than 1 cup).

For the caramel:  In a sauce pan over medium heat, combine the sugar, water, golden syrup and maple syrup and mix to combine.  Using a pastry brush set in a small dish of water, brush the sides of the pan to make sure there are no sugar crystals stuck to the sides.  As the mixture boils continue to wash down the sides.  The mixture will become thick as the water evaporates out.  When the mixture begins to turn a dark caramel color, shut off the heat and mix in the cream. Whisk well to incorporate.  Add the butter and whisk until melted and combined.  Immediately pour the caramel over the popcorn.  Using a rubber spatula, gently (it’s hot!) mix until the popcorn is evenly coated in the caramel.

To form the popcorn balls, put on a pair of rubber food handling gloves and spray them lightly with cooking spray.  Gather together a handful of popcorn and squeeze gently until it forms a ball.  Cool on a metal try.