My sister-in-law came over one evening and we had fun putting these together. The recipe is fairly simple and they are delicious! Because you have to boil sugar, this is definitely not a kid-friendly cooking project. Even though we were careful, I did manage to get a pretty good burn from the hot syrup. So keep those toddlers away until everything has cooled.
Caramel Corn Balls
6 cups popcorn (you can pop the kernels in hot oil or you can do what we did - pop 3 bags of low-salt, low-butter microwave popcorn. Open the bag a tiny bit and shake it upside down and let all the kernels out before you pour out the popcorn)
1/2 cup butter
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 8oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan combine butter, sugar, and corn syrup. Stir well and bring to boiling over medium heat. Stir in condensed milk; simmer, stirring constantly, until thermometer reads 240 degrees F. Stir in vanilla.
Pour over popcorn and stir to coat. Place popcorn on a sheet of wax paper and use the paper to form the candy corn into a loosely-packed ball.
We put salted almonds into half of the popcorn balls and that was also delicious. You could stir in other yummy things, like butterscotch chips or MnM's.