St Patrick’s Day M&M Popcorn Balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, plus extra for coating bowl and hands
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon green food coloring, optional
  • 9 cups prepared popcorn
  • 2 cups green M&M’S® Brand Milk Chocolate or Peanut Chocolate Candies
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • Candy thermometer
  • 2 quarts heavy bottom pot
  • Wooden spoon or spatula
  • Large pot
  • Waxed or parchment paper
  • Cookie sheet
  • Cellophane (optional)

Directions:

  • 1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, corn syrup, butter, water and salt. Stir constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Continue cooking without stirring for another 10 minutes, or until the syrup reaches the hard-crack stage—300ºF on a candy thermometer. Immediately remove from heat, add vanilla extract and food coloring and mix well.
  • 2. In a large greased pot, combine popped popcorn with syrup, stirring constantly with a spatula or wooden spoon until completely coated. Stir in M&M’S® Brand Chocolate Candies and marshmallows. Once mixture is cool enough to handle, coat hands with butter and form 2 ½-inch balls. Place on tray lined with either wax or parchment paper until ready to serve, or, wrap in cellophane.

Canning Suggestions

JUST THE RIGHT SIZE
Get ready to preserve a bit of summer when the abundance of fresh produce flits farmers markets and roadside stands. Large canning jars are great for the big jobs, but you need tiny jars, such as those made by Bali, for saving goodies from backyard gardens. Their wide-mouth, one-piece, screw-on lids make it easy to save small batches, and the size is right for gifts from your kitchen. Pick up a carton of them as soon as they appear in stores—they get away quickly. That way, when the spirit hits to can a little something you’ll be set.