Jolly Time Popcorn's recipe for Easy Caramel Popcorn Balls includes only four ingredients: popcorn, caramels, light corn syrup and water. Pop enough kernels to equal 2 1/2 quarts of popcorn; place the popcorn in a roasting pan, and keep it in a 200 degree Fahrenheit oven.
Melt 48 unwrapped light caramels in a heavy saucepan over a low heat, stirring occasionally; this should take approximately 15 minutes. Once the caramels are fully melted, stir in ¼ cup light corn syrup and 2 tablespoons of water until the entire mixture is smooth. Place the popcorn in a large bowl, and pour the saucepan contents over the popcorn. Mix the caramel sauce with the popcorn, and then shape balls into the size that you desire. Jolly Time recommends buttering your hands to make the ball-shaping easier. Set the balls on waxed paper until they are firm. Serve them on a tray or wrap them in plastic wrap and a ribbon for a festive gift.
Pillsbury’s recipe, Halftime Caramel Popcorn Balls, uses one bag of their microwave popcorn with other snack treats. After making the microwave bag of popcorn, remove any unpopped kernels, and place the popcorn in a large bowl. Add 2 cups Golden Graham cereal, 1 1/2 cups small pretzel twists and 3/4 cup of candy-coated chocolate pieces to the bowl of popcorn, and mix well. To make the caramel sauce In a 1 quart saucepan, melt 1/3 cup butter or margarine over medium heat, and stir in 3/4 cup packed brown sugar and 1/3 cup light corn syrup. Bring that mixture to a boil, and let it boil for one minute before you pour the sauce over the bowl of popcorn and snacks. Pillsbury recommends shaping the final mixture with your hands sprayed with cooking spray. Let each ball cool on wax paper for 10 minutes before sealing with plastic wrap.