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I get it. With the holidays here, who has time to make a popcorn ball, let alone ones that are embellished with candy corn to make them look like turkeys? Usually, I’m not into kitschy food, but there are several reasons I love these turkeys. One, I love popcorn in any form. Two, the holidays are the time to do things we just usually don’t take the time to do. Kids and adults will both find these fun and delicious. When having people over for a festive meal, it’s just a bonus to have something special they can nibble on at each plate. And believe me, if I were served these as a guest, I would not be able to wait until the meal. Turkey-shaped or not, these popcorn balls are a must even if you hide them all to yourself and enjoy them after everyone leaves!
It’s the holidays: why not go all out and make something (somewhat) time consuming? Enjoy!
Watch how to make these turkey-shaped popcorn balls:
Turkey-Shaped Popcorn Balls
- 12-14 cups popped popcorn (½ cup unpopped kernels)
- ½ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup water
- 3 tbsp molasses
- 1 tbsp butter
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp baking soda
For the decorations
- 48 pieces candy corn
- 16 pieces candy eyes
- 1 egg white
- 2 cups powdered sugar
For the popcorn balls
- Pop the popcorn in one tablespoon oil and set aside in a large bowl. Personally, I use a Stir Crazy (affiliate link), but a large heavy-bottom kettle with a lid works well too.
- In a 4-quart heavy-bottom kettle, combine the sugar, water, molasses, butter, salt, and vinegar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the mixture begins to boil. Continue to boil until the temperature reaches 235°F on a candy thermometer.
- Remove from heat and add the vanilla and baking soda. Stir to combine until the mixture is lighter in color and foamy.
- Pour over prepared popcorn.
- Stir until all the popcorn is coated in the caramel mixture. Allow to cool slightly and become sticky, 3-5 minutes.
- With well-oiled hands, create balls approximately 3 inches in diameter. If the balls are not sticking together, allow popcorn additional time to cool.
- Adhere the candy corn with royal icing.
For the optional decorations
- Whisk the egg white until foamy. Add sugar and whisk until smooth and thick.
- Use a drop of frosting where candy corn pieces are desired. Place candy and allow it to dry before moving on.
- Repeat with candy eyes. The icing holds best if it is thick and is allowed ample time to dry with each piece of candy.