Old Fashioned Popcorn Balls

Jolly Time Popcorn

Birthdays are special! They can be milestones and benchmarks, quiet and subdued or raise-the-roof wild celebrations!  My husband and I have birthdays exactly 6 months apart. Consequently, on his birthday, I celebrate my ‘half’ birthday and six months later, we switch!

Jolly Time Popcorn is celebrating a huge milestone this year! They are turning 100! We always had Jolly Time around the house when the kids were growing up. It was our “Movie Night” treat! When I was asked if I wanted to help Jolly Time celebrate their birthday, I knew I had to say Yes! What better way to celebrate a milestone Popcorn birthday, than with good Old Fashioned Popcorn Balls? (And perhaps a touch of sprinkles for color. Everyone needs sprinkles on their birthday!) Perhaps it isn’t a “traditional” birthday treat, but it’s fun!

“This is my attempt at making a “100” from popcorn balls… what do you think?

100 Years of Popcorn

I admit, my 100 could use some work, but since it’s on my “Celebrate” plate, it counts as party food! Happy 100th Birthday Jolly Time!!!

Jolly Time

I followed this recipe on the Jolly Time site for their Old Fashioned Popcorn Balls! They’ve been around for 100 years! Why mess with perfection? I drizzled melted chocolate over the popcorn balls and added sprinkles (because everyone needs sprinkles on their birthday!I know I said it before, but it bears repeating!) to make them more festive!

These Old Fashioned Popcorn Balls are so easy to make! It’s a great project to share with your kids! You don’t even need a reason to make them! (Although turning 100 is a great reason!) Growing up, a friends Mom would make Old Fashioned Popcorn Balls every year for Halloween and Christmas. It was one of her signature treats. All the kids looked forward to the sweet and salty crunch of her Popcorn Balls. She even decorated them for the holidays! She mixed in orange and brown M&M’s for Halloween and red and green sprinkles for Christmas. Making these popcorn balls in my own kitchen brought back fun memories of those simpler days. I discovered the trick is to use non-stick cooking spray on your hands when your forming your popcorn balls (so it doesn’t stick!) and to work very quickly. Give it a try!

*Disclaimer: Jolly Time sent me sprinkles and popcorn to make this recipe, but I was not compensated for this post. All opinions herein are my own.

Old Fashioned Popcorn Balls
  • 8 cups popped Jolly Time Popcorn
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup light or dark corn syrup
  • ⅓ cup water
  • ¼ cup butter or margarine
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 oz White Chocolate Candy Quik
  • Candy Sprinkles – for decoration
  1. Heat oven to 200 degrees F. Place popped corn on a large cookie sheet and place in heated oven to keep warm.
  2. In a 2-quart saucepan, stir together the sugar, corn syrup, water, butter and salt.
  3. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil and the butter has completely melted.
  4. Continue cooking, without stirring, until the temperature reaches 270 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
  5. When the syrup is nearly at the correct temperature, remove the popcorn from the oven and place on a level surface.
  6. Once the syrup reaches 270 degrees F, remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
  7. Slowly pour the syrup over the popcorn.
  8. Using a well-greased spoon, stir the popcorn to completely coat every kernel.
  9. Cool just enough to handle.
  10. The popcorn will still be very warm, but it’s important to work quickly before the syrup hardens.
  11. Spray your hands with non-stick cooking spray and form popcorn into balls. You should be able to make 10-12 balls.
  12. Cool popcorn balls on foil or buttered wax paper.
  13. Follow the directions on the Candy Quik to melt the chocolate.
  14. Drizzle chocolate over cooled Popcorn Balls and decorate with sprinkles!
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