Legend has it that Candy Corn is named for its coloring, which is inspired by the gradient of a kernel of corn. Sweet as this story may be, I've got to squint really hard to see the resemblance.
Nonetheless, I'm happy to bring the iconic tricolor treat together with popped kernels of its namesake, in the form of Candy Corn Popcorn Balls. These sweet marshmallow-based popcorn balls work beautifully when studded with candy corn; adding an extra shake of salt makes for a sweet, salty, crunchy, crispy, sticky, and overall pretty irresistible fall treat.
- Yield:8 to 12
- Active time: 25 minutes
- Total time:1 hour, 25 minutes
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn (yields about 4 quarts popped corn)
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 5 cups miniature marshmallows
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups candy corn
Grease a 12-cup muffin tin. Set aside.
Add vegetable oil to a 4 quart saucepan, and heat over high heat. When the oil is hot, add popping corn. Keep pan moving constantly until the corn has stopped popping. Remove from heat and set to the side for the moment.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the marshmallows and cook until melted, stirring constantly. Stir in the salt. Once melted, pour the marshmallow mixture over the popcorn (right in the pan) and mix with a wooden spoon to coat evenly.
Once the mixture is evenly coated, fold in the candy corn. Stir gently and as quickly as possible, because the candy corn will begin to melt rather quickly and you want it to retain its shape as much as possible, otherwise your popcorn balls will turn yellowish (they will still taste good, though).
Let mixture cool slightly. Smear butter on your hands to prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands.
Using buttered hands, form the mixture into balls (I made mine slightly smaller than a baseball). Place the balls into your greased 9x13-inch pan or muffin tin. Let cool for at least 1 hour before eating.