Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Molasses Popcorn Balls

After my mention of a molasses popcorn ball recipe yesterday on my gingerbread posts I received several emails and comment requests for the recipe. Took me some digging to find the book. I will credit this recipe to my husbands grandmother "Betty'. Born Dec 7, 1898,  Betty was mother to 5 and the local midwife delivering hundreds of local babies in her lifetime. Betty was known also for her good cooking. Many of her recipes coming from her own mother also known for her cooking skills. 

Upon Betty's death at the age of 94 her hand written notebooks of recipes went to Betty's daughter, my late mother in law. Upon my mother in laws death the recipes were passed to me. Upon my death they will go to Baby O, Betty's youngest great granddaughter . Not gourmet recipes by any means but a handwritten collection of farm recipes for simple food and canning. Recipes going through generations of one family and connecting all these women of whom I am proud to be a part of and pass on to my own daughter. Although tattered, stained and faded a connection through the generations of one family of women preparing food for those that they love. SO with gratitude I credit this recipe to Betty....

Pop Corn Balls

1 cup molasses
1 cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon vinegar
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 quarts POPPED pop corn

Keep pop corn hot and crisp in oven. Cook molasses, syrup and vinegar t hard boil stage, Stir in butter and salt. Pour slowly over corn and shape into balls. 

Tops butter your hand well before handling and be careful because it is hot. Handle warm and shape balls quickly before it sets up. 

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter


  1. I am sure that you treasure these recipes in the notebook. Not sure about you, but I love looking and reading old recipes like these and looking at pictures of the person that wrote them. I wonder what kind of life they lived cooking up these simple meals and snacks. Wholesome food for a family that worked hard all day and sat down to a family meal together. Thank you for sharing the recipe and pictures of Betty and the notebook.

  2. We recently finished making sorghum syrup, so I was very happy to see your recipe. I think we'll try it with the sorghum syrup and see how it turns out. Thanks!

  3. thank you so much for sharing your family recipe-sounds good

  4. I love the sounds of them! I remember my mother speaking of these from when she was a girl! And tough jack?? Isnt that like the hardened form? She said that one of her brothers almost fell into a huge pot of sorghum cooking outside when they were children. Would love it if you stopped by my blog sometime!

  5. It's been a long time since I made popcorn balls, but I was actually thinking about them yesterday.

  6. I can't wait to make these! I'm so excited for my children to try something I looked forward to at Halloween. THANK YOU!!!

  7. What a treasure! I can't wait to try these. Thank you so much for sharing the pictures of the grandmother and her notebook. Love it.

  8. Yummy! Cant wait to give these a try.. Its been years since I had a good popcorn ball.. Bring on the memories! Thanks so much! Blessings!

  9. I love family stories. Thanks for sharing the story and recipe. This hits home with me especially this time of year. My Great Grandmother, Moma Lennis, would make make us homemade popcorn balls for halloween. She passed on in 1992 at the ripe old age of almost 91. I'm not sure if her recipe is floating around in a family recipe box somewhere but i'm sure going to find out....but i'll try Betty's as well. :)

  10. I made these last night from your recipe. They were a huge hit! My teenagers had never had popcorn balls before, and didn't know what they were missing out on! Thank you for sharing!!!

  11. Oh please, please, please, copy down these recipes, or scan them, or photo copy them and then keep copies in different locations. It is so easy for treasures like this to be lost. My own great-grandmothers recipes were lost in a flood and I so wish I had them now. both for the memories and the good cooking. (and my dear great-grandmother's handwriting) The cookbooks of today have so many processed foods in them. If you want to find real food cookbooks you have to have your old family recipes or get lucky at a thrift store.
    Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I will keep this recipe with the author information.

  12. Thanks ever so much for posting this, as I was one of the ones asking for it :O).... from what little I can remember of my Grandmas this is very much like hers so I am excited! Thanks Again!

  13. My grandmother used to make popcorn balls at Halloween and at Christmas. She made so many kinds of candy at Christmas, it was like a candy shop! She hasn't made most of it in years.

  14. A great friend was sharing stories of her mother's popcorn balls. She made them for family and friends at Halloween and Christmas. My friend said her mother used both molasses and corn syrup. So, here is the recipe - at last! Thank-you for sharing this classic recipe! We'll be trying it this week - before Halloween comes!

  15. Could I use honey instead of corn syrup? My children are allergic to corn syrup. What an amazing gift to be handed down to you....to use and to share as you do with others. Thank you so much for sharing your family treasures with us.

    1. HM you will have to experiment with it a bit! I would try honey and maybe even just using double the molasses. This recipe came from the war time era when there was a shortage of sugar and it was rationed. You could still get corn syrup and molasses was still produced in most communities.


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