Monday, November 30, 2009

Pastel Popcorn Tree

I wanted to wait until tomorrow to start with the Christmas recipes and treats, but saw this and just couldn't! How funny is this? I have an Aunt who loves popcorn balls and while I bought her Pannetoni instead at the local Italian grocery store, I know she'd enjoy this one. It's from Better Homes and Gardens Cookies and Candies, 1966.
Pastel Popcorn Tree
5 quarts popped corn (about 2 cups unpopped)
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp. vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla
Keep popcorn hot and crisp in slow oven (300 - 325). Butter sides of saucepan. In it, combine granulated sugar, water, salt, syrup, and vinegar. Cook to hard-ball stage (250). Stir in vanilla. Pour cooked syrup slowly over hot popped corn, stirring just enough to combine thoroughly. Butter hands lightly (?) and shape popcorn mixture into 2-inch balls.
Pink popcorn balls:
Prepare as for whit popcorn balls above but omit vinegar (to ensure pretty pink color) (I'm not kidding - it says that.), and vanilla. Add 1/2 tsp. red food coloring and 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract to cooked syrup. Shape some of the red popcorn mixture into eleven balls 2 1/2 inches in diameter, the remainder into 2-inch balls. (Why?)
Marshmallow Sparkles
Red food coloring
Strawberry-or raspberry flavored gelatin (1/2 of 3 oz. package)
Marshmallows, large and miniature
Add food coloring, a few drops at a time, to gelatin, mixing well to obtain desired color. Dip a few marshmallows by hand into water. Drain excess moisture by shaking in paper toweling. Roll marshmallows in colored gelatin and allow to dry thoroughly.
Oh boy. That's a lot of work. How would you eat this, too?
In May I participated in an online auction for YA author and librarian Bridget Zinn, who has colon cancer. Another auction is happening to help with her mountain of bills. Lots of manuscript critiques here along with lovely signed gifts. Check it out!
Actual Auction:

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