Brace yourselves people. After seeing the recipe below, I assure you, your grocery list will have a few extra items added to it. My friend Natalie, over at The Sweets Life, has provided us with an outstanding guest post + recipe today. I met Natalie at last year’s Foodbuzz festival, and we connected instantly. Her blog features every type of recipe you could imagine, from indulgent treats, to meatless meals, crockpot meals, and more. I’ll let her take it from here!
When Ashley first asked me to guest post, I was initially a little intimidated. Having read her blog now for over a year and meeting her in San Francisco last November, I’ve seen firsthand just how talented she is: beautiful photographs, incredible kitchen creativity, and a heart of gold! How could I even compare? In short, I can’t, but I appreciate her inviting me over here today to try ;)
Although I blog all types of recipes over at The Sweets Life, I couldn’t resist sharing one on the more indulgent side of the spectrum. With Halloween just around the corner, I wanted to come up with something that would be particularly fitting this time of year. Enter: popcorn balls.
Before you click away, hear me out. These aren’t just any old popcorn balls…these are Samoa-inspired balls. Girl Scout cookie season is long gone, but I still can’t get enough of the chocolate, caramel, coconut combination. Ever since I made Samoa Bars from scratch, I’ve been itching to incorporate the flavors into another baked good.
To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever had a popcorn ball before. I remember receiving a few packaged ones while trick or treating back in the day, but I quickly dismissed those in lieu of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Snickers bars! These Samoa Popcorn Bars aren’t anything like I imagine those pre-packaged ones are—stale, flavorless, and tooth-breakingly tough. Instead, these manage to be both chewy and crunchy with heavenly bites of caramel, coconut, and chocolate.
These popcorn balls use a few ingredients that probably aren’t typically found in Ashley’s kitchen, but I know she, like me, appreciates a good treat from time to time. Believe me when I say these are worth the splurge! Whip up a batch of these and show your friends a new side of popcorn balls!
[Totally worth it!!!]
Samoa Popcorn Balls
A Sweets Life original
*Makes 15 popcorn balls
-1/3 cup popcorn kernels
-3 tbsp canola oil (can also use grapeseed)
-1/2 cup marshmallows
-1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
-1 tsp cold water
-2 tbsp butter
-3/8 cup light corn syrup
-1 cup chocolate chunks
-1 cup caramel bites (I bought caramel candies and chopped, but if you can find caramel bits I recommend those for simplicity sake!)
-3/4 cup shredded coconut
1. In a saucepan over medium high heat, add 3 tbsp canola oil and 3 popcorn kernels. Cover and wait for the 3 kernels to pop. Remove pot from heat and add remaining popcorn kernels. Wait 30 seconds and return to heat, covered. Shake pot occasionally as popcorn pops, until popcorn slows or stops completely. Remove popcorn from heat and pour into a large bowl. (Alternately, you could use 2 quarts plain popped microwave popcorn)
2. Add coconut, chocolate chunks, and caramel bits to the popcorn, stirring to mix well.
3. Using the now empty saucepan, combine corn syrup, butter, cold water, confectioners’ sugar, and marshmallows. Place over medium heat and stir just until mixture starts to bubble. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 3-4 minutes.
4. Pour the sticky mixture over the popcorn mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until mixture is evenly coated.
5. Spray a muffin tin (you’ll need two to make 15 balls) with cooking spray. Spray your hands with cooking spray and, working quickly, form mixture into balls (be careful! Mixture is hot!). Place in greased muffin cups and put in the fridge for 10-15 minutes, until set. Store popcorn balls in an airtight container until ready to serve (I stored mine in the fridge, but they could also be kept at room temperature).
Let’s operate on the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy here when it comes to how many of these I ate in a 24-hour period! There wasn’t much of an opportunity to share with friends…guess I’d better make another batch!