Mark “popcorn balls” down with “baking bread with real yeast” on the list of my kitchen firsts for this year! I didn’t even know that popcorn balls were on my kitchen bucket list until JOLLY TIME Pop Corn invited me to help celebrate their 100th birthday with them! All of the sudden, popcorn balls were added (and crossed off) my bucket list immediately. Of course, leave it to me to make a mostly-savory-but-kind-of-sweet version of this classic snack. Ya’ll know I’m all about the savory, always.
It takes just a few minutes to stir together the ingredients for these treats. Bring some sugar, corn syrup, peanut butter, sriracha, butter and ground ginger to a boil, then throw in popped JOLLY TIME KettleMania Pop Corn and roughly chopped peanuts. At this point, the mixture will be extremely hot and sticky. Being as how this was my first time, I was worried the mixture would harden up super quickly, and I wouldn’t have enough time to form the popcorn balls.
It turns out that if you try to form the balls while the mixture is still piping hot, you’ll have a sticky mess on your hands (literally). I learned the hard way that it’s best to let it cool a few minutes. I mean, don’t go have lunch and come back to it or anything, but as long as the mixture is still warm (not hot!), and you make sure your hands are nicely oiled (I kept a small dish of vegetable oil nearby for this purpose), you’ll have plenty of time to shape the popcorn balls and give them a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
JOLLY TIME KettleMania Pop Corn was the perfect sweet and salty base to add even more sweet and salty ingredients to make these popcorn balls! JOLLY TIME Pop Corn turns 100 this month, and I’m bringing these treats to the party. JOLLY TIME was founded by Cloid Smith in Sioux City, Iowa in 1914. Smith and his son, Howard, hand-shelled the popcorn themselves in the basement of their home. Today, JOLLY TIME remains a family owned business and has sold nearly three billion pounds of popcorn. JOLLY TIME offers its American-grown products in grocery stores nationwide and in nearly 40 countries around the globe. JOLLY TIME Pop Corn is gluten-free and is made using non-GMO popcorn.
For even more ways to celebrate, explore all of the great popcorn recipes on JOLLY TIME Pop Corn’s 100th Virtual Birthday Party Pinterest board!
Peanut Butter-Sriracha Popcorn Balls
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1-1/2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon sriracha
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 4 cups popped JOLLY TIME KettleMania Pop Corn
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped peanuts
- Vegetable oil, for hands
- 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
- Line rimmed baking pan with waxed paper or parchment paper; set aside.
- In large saucepot, stir together sugar, corn syrup, peanut butter, sriracha, butter and ginger. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and immediately stir in popcorn and peanuts until everything is well combined.
- Allow mixture to cool until it's not piping hot, but still warm to the touch. Lightly coat hands with oil; press mixture into 2-inch balls and place on prepared baking pan. Immediately after you finish forming balls, sprinkle balls with sesame seeds. Allow balls to fully cool before serving. Popcorn balls can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Adapted from jollytime.com.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of JOLLY TIME Pop Corn, in conjunction with Kitchen PLAY. Sponsored posts help me pay for the costs associated with this blog (groceries…lots of groceries), and help support me as I pursue a career in recipe development and food photography. All opinions are 100% my own.