Easy Caramel Popcorn Balls {Dairy-Free}

Original Post  10-30-13

For an allergy-safe Halloween one year, we decided to try progressive fire pits on our block. One house hosted hot dog roasting, one house had smores, and our house served up hot apple cider and popcorn.  

I just planned to make bags of our yummy coconut oil popcorn, but at the 24-hour mark before a holiday I tend to get crazy motivated in the kitchen. 

So instead of settling for plain popcorn, I started playing around with a caramel sauce to coat the popcorn in. Once I tossed the popcorn in the sauce, and after a few minutes of cooling, I realized the consistency was perfect for popcorn balls. 

What I appreciate about these is that there is no corn syrup. 

If you don't want to mess with making popcorn balls, you can just leave the popcorn loose and simply tossed in the caramel sauce.  

I love using our stove top popcorn recipe for this because if you do it correctly, most all of the kernels will pop.  And that's good when you are making popcorn balls...less chance of biting into an elusive kernel.

This recipe calls for no corn syrup AND no candy thermometer. Perfect.


Makes about 12 baseball sized popcorn balls.

1/3 Cup Popcorn Kernels
3 Tbs Coconut Oil

1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup Honey
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
Sea Salt 

Mix brown sugar and honey in a small sauce pan.  Heat over medium heat.  

While caramel mixture is heating, make a batch of our Coconut Oil Stove Top Popcorn.  

When caramel mixture is heated and mixed, take off heat and add vanilla.  

When popcorn is done popping, take off heat.  

Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and toss until all popcorn is coated.  Be sure to get all the caramel at the bottom of the pot.  

Sprinkle sea salt over caramel popcorn, tossing and salting it all.  

If not making popcorn balls, let cool enough to eat.  

If making popcorn balls, let cool enough for you to handle.  Work rather quickly as you make the popcorn balls as the balls stick better when the caramel is hot/warm. The popcorn will not stick as well after it's cooled.  

I stored each popcorn ball in a fold-close baggie once cooled all the way and then put all the baggies of popcorn balls in an airtight container ready for the neighbors tomorrow.  



Anonymous said...

you saved me tonight - I was desperate for a school snack/dessert tomorrow for a b'day celebration for my daughter that had to be gluten free AND dairy free. I whipped this up and it is yummy and she will be so surprised and happy in the morning! Thank you!! Btw, I added about 1/8 cup coconut oil to the sugar mixture because I air popped my corn and it turned out lovely. However I added chocolate chips too soon and they melted...still good though! The salt was key. THANKS AGAIN! An emergency 12:45am dessert success. :-)

Jamie Kaufmann said...

Oh good, I'm glad you liked them! :)

Eileen Rhoadarmer said...

That sounds really yummy! I've been kind of afraid that someone in our circle of friends will come up with a dairy allergy, as I'm already cooking without egg, peanut, and tree nut just for us, and without gluten, soy, or corn when I include my best friend's children. If I add dairy into that, we might be in trouble! But this sounds like an excellent dairy-free alternative to have on hand (not for the corn-free kiddos, of course.)

Jamie Kaufmann said...

You sound like an amazing friend, Eileen!