Candy Corn and Peanut Popcorn Balls

Turn the classic popcorn ball into a spooky Halloween snack
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Popcorn Ball
Photo: Tasting Table

Black food coloring is the perfect Halloween costume for the classic popcorn ball. This quick snack travels easily and is completely festive party food.

When forming the sticky popcorn balls, use latex gloves or spray some oil onto the palms of your hands, so they don't stick.

To learn more read, "Children of the Popcorn."

Candy Corn and Peanut Popcorn Balls

Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Yield: 8 popcorn balls

Prep Time: 25 minutes, plus cooling time

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes, plus cooling time


½ teaspoon canola oil

6 cups plain popped popcorn

1 cup candy corn

1 cup roasted peanuts

1 cup sugar

⅓ cup corn syrup

⅓ cup water

1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

1¼ teaspoons kosher salt

½ teaspoon black food coloring

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces


1. Lightly grease the inside of a large heatproof bowl with the oil, then add the popcorn, candy corn and peanuts.

2. In a small saucepan, stir together the sugar, corn syrup, water, vinegar and salt. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Add the black food coloring and continue to cook until the sugar mixture registers 260° on a candy thermometer, 5 to 7 minutes total. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter.

3. Immediately drizzle the sugar mixture over the popcorn mixture and stir with a rubber spatula to coat completely, about 1 minute.

4. Using oiled hands or latex gloves, tightly press the mixture into 2½-inch rounds. Place each ball onto a wax paper-lined sheet tray and let cool completely, 15 to 20 minutes. Then serve.

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