These popcorn balls are hard and sticky--reminiscent of the sweet treat Grandma made.
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20 cups popped corn
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
2/3 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 tablespoons Land O Lakes® Butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup candy corn, small gumdrops or salted peanuts
Place popcorn in large bowl or roasting pan; set aside.
Combine sugar, corn syrup, boiling water and vinegar in 3-quart heavy saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat 6-8 minutes or until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in cream of tartar. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally 15-18 minutes or until mixture reaches 270°F or small amount dropped in ice water forms a hard but elastic strand. Remove from heat; add butter, soda and vanilla. Stir until butter is melted and mixture is combined.
Pour syrup mixture over popcorn. (Mixture will be very hot.) Stir until all popcorn is coated. Gently stir in candy.
Shape, using buttered hands and working quickly, about 1 cup popcorn mixture into a ball. Place onto waxed paper. Repeat with remaining popcorn. Cool completely.