These marshmallow popcorn balls get nutty flavour from salted brown butter!
Marshmallow Popcorn Balls are one of those treats that I never had as a child. I don't know why... maybe they weren't very popular with Canadian children back in the late 1980's? I think we ate a lot of Rice Krispie Squares instead (which I love).
So I decided to make my own popcorn ball recipe for this blog. I briefly considered adding some orange food colouring to these to make them more Halloween-ish, but really didn't feel like consuming food colouring for the heck of it.
Instead, I decided to add brown butter to the marshmallow mixture, and I'm so glad I did. These are really yummy! The brown butter adds a salty-nutty flavour that pairs well with the sweetness of the marshmallow. They are so good that I think I'll start adding brown butter to my Rice Krispie squares too.
You can pop the popcorn for this recipe any way you like (air popped or oil popped etc.), and it should turn out just fine. You could probably use plain or kettle corn pre-popped popcorn as well!
Now, a quick word of warning for you... When I set out to make my first batch of popcorn balls, I planned out my ingredients and method but failed to consider how incredibly hot the marshmallow mixture would be. If there is one thing you should remember when it comes to making sweet treats, it's that hot sugar burns!
If you try to wait for the mixture to cool before handling it, you will end up with a hard sticky mess. The best thing to do, in my opinion, is to use a spoon to scoop the popcorn out from the top of the pot, then quickly (and gently) press the mass into a ball. You could also add the popcorn to a greased bowl and add the marshmallow mixture into that, so you don't have to deal with the hot pot. I put some tips from other bloggers into the bottom of the recipe for you to check out too.
These crispy treats are best enjoyed fresh, as they begin to harden as they sit. After a couple of days, mine were too hard to eat. If you must leave them until the next day, please place these in an airtight container with a solid lid. They really have the best flavour and texture when they are freshly made though.
Marshmallow Popcorn Balls with Brown Butter
- ½ cup popcorn kernels, unpopped
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup salted butter
- 40 marshmallows, large
- Pop your popcorn kernels in the microwave or on the stovetop.
- Allow the popcorn to cool slightly, then remove all unpopped kernels.
- Lightly salt the freshly popped popcorn and set aside.
- Set a large saucepan over medium heat, and add the butter.
- Allow the butter to melt, stirring occasionally.
- Once it begins to foam, keep a close eye on the pan. Stir the butter so you can see the colour of the liquid under the foam. As soon as it turns brown and smells nutty, add the marshmallows and start stirring a lot.
- Continue stirring until the marshmallows have completely melted, this will take a few minutes.
- Add the popcorn to the mixture and stir to coat each popped kernel.
- Use a large greased spoon to scoop some of the mixture out and gently form it into a ball. Be careful, the mixture can be very hot.
- Do not press the popcorn ball together too much or else it will be hard to eat.
- Place the finished balls in a greased dish and allow to cool.
- Eat once cooled, or store in an air-tight container for later.
- Use melted butter or cooking spray to grease the large spoon and the baking dish for the final product. You should also grease your hands before rolling the balls. This will prevent the marshmallow from sticking to everything.
- The marshmallow mixture can be VERY HOT, so please be careful.
- Here are some ideas to help protect your hands from my blogging friends:
- Use spoons to form the balls
- Coat your hands in Crisco to act as a heat barrier
- Put on a pair of cloth gloves, then a pair of plastic (food safe) gloves
Please read the blog post for detailed tips and explanations.
Nutrition Disclaimer: please note that the nutritional information for this recipe is only an estimate, and has been calculated using a plugin.