Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Popcorn balls..

Popcorn balls! An easy to make classroom treat! (Warning: Do not eat these at home if you intend to keep your teeth!)

I am making popcorn balls for Monkey's class. They are celebrating their 100th day in school with a popcorn party. Lee and I have about 10 pounds of gourmet popcorn available so I thought I would make some sweet chewy popcorn balls for the party.

They are simple, they are easy, and boy, eating one almost made my teeth fall out of my head.

The ingredients are simple.

12 cups popcorn
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1 package flavored gelatin

You boil the sugar and syrup, add the gelatin, and then stir in the popcorn and shape and let dry. After making the popcorn, it really only took about 10 minutes to make 13 small popcorn balls.

However, they are all sugar. They actually made my teeth hurt. I am not kidding, the first bite was good, until I started to chew and began to notice pain in my back teeth. Yeesh! I am committed to bringing them to this class party, but next time I will be researching the hippie peanut butter version.

I did discover you can pop plain popcorn in the microwave. All you need is a paper bag, a handful of kernels, and two minutes. It made the popcorn preparation a little easier, though popping 12 cups is no joke. (Make sure to remove the unpopped kernels before making the balls, otherwise you really will have no teeth.)

The end product tastes a little like popcorn, a little like Jello, and a lot like sugar. Hopefully the children will have a less discerning palate, or my sticky treat may go the way of the Dodo.

Actually, I think I am going to throw this batch out and try making popcorn balls with marshmallows. They should taste better, be healthier, and not send all the children into sugar shock.

Shudder

5 comments:

Woman with a Hatchet said...

Healthier?

You're talking about sugar, corn syrup and marshmallows.

"Healthy" cannot enter this conversation.

"Healthy" is whimpering in a corner.

Scylla said...

Oddly, the marshmallow batch is healthier than the jello, corn syrup, and sugar batch.

Shudder

Woman with a Hatchet said...

Ahem.

Marshmallow ingredients (and this is a healthy, do it yourself kind):
about 1 cup confectioners' sugar
3 1/2 envelopes (2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup hot water (about 115°F.)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites*
1 teaspoon vanilla

Note: sugar, gelatin, different form of sugar, corn syrup, and egg whites

What's healthier about this different form of the same 3 ingredients?

Huh?

"Healthy" is expiring in the corner.

Note that I'm not saying to NOT make them, I'm just pointing out the fact that you can't pretend there's anything healthy about marshmallows, sugar, corn syrup and/or gelatin.

Connie said...

Frankly, I'm marveling. More to the point, I'm amazed and baffled.

I'm sure you mean no harm, but seriously, it's simply absurd to say that making a batch of popcorn balls and marshmallows "taste better" and are "healthier and not send children into sugar shock"?

According to a do-it-yourself recipe I found on the Internet, marshmallows contain 3 different types of sugar -- confectioners sugar, granulated sugar, light corn syrup." How, pray tell, is that "more healthy"?

With all due respect, I believe that you could benefit greatly from my new book SUGAR SHOCK!, in which I delve into the dangers of sugars and refined carbs and offer some pointers to break free.

It truly begins with parents setting a good example. So, for starters, rather than making such dishes, I strongly encourage to create a concoction that isn't so sugary it hurts your teetch. FYI, the tooth damage is just the beginnings of the harm that this could cause.

Again, I mean well here and am merely trying to be helpful. You are typical -- most Americans (and people the world over) just do not realize the horrible consequences of eating all this excess sugar -- which is what most people do.

I invite you to learn more and also to think about making a more healthy dish for chilren like apples with some nut butter or some vegetables and hummous -- foods that truly won't send kids into SUGAR SHOCK!

All the best to you. Again, please take this in the spirit in which it's intended -- I'm merely trying to open your eyes and help you.

I just couldn't sit by and let your remark go unnoticed. I had to "speak out" here after finding out about you through a Google alert for SUGAR SHOCK!

Again, all the best. FYI, I have all kinds of helpful info on my website and blog, too.

Good luck!

Connie
Author, SUGAR SHOCK! (Berkley Books)
www.SugarShock.com
www.SugarShockBlog.com

Scylla said...

Connie,
I appreciate your comments, but believe me, I am not typical. Neither is my popcorn ball treat.

Typically, I use cookie cutters to cut shapes out of cantalope and apple slices to bring holiday shaped fruit goodies into the class instead of sweets.

However, the 100th day party was a popcorn party, and my daughter asked me to make popcorn balls. SO, as an exception, I agreed.

Further, I did not call marshmallow popcorn balls heathly. I stated they were healthier than the popcorn balls I made initially and threw out, which they are.

One bag of Marshmallows with 1/4 cup of butter made twice as many balls as the cup of corn syrup, half cup of sugar, and entire packet of Jello mix.

Therefore there was indeed less sugar in the marshmallow popcorn balls than in the original popcorn balls.

Also, we used gourmet popcorn high in anti-oxidents (yes, there is such a thing) and popped it without oil or butter, so it was as healthy as they can be made. (Barring the previously mentioned peanut butter popcorn balls, which may be tried later.)

So I do appreciate the information on sugar, but please understand that I am not the woman who needs it. And I would suggest that you read up on the blogs you are alerted to before you decide whether the people you pop in on are actually in need of said advice. Otherwise you are likely to be preaching to the choir.

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