We made lemon popcorn the last two Saturdays. We shared it with folks in the store and they loved it. It was bright and tangy. Then it struck us: Why not make popcorn balls, pink lemonade popcorn balls.
We had learned how to make candy popcorn with pancake syrup. The technique is simple. Cook the syrup to 240 degrees, the soft ball stage. Remove it from the heat and stir in baking soda. Pour the warm candy over popped corn. You can make luscious candy popcorn this way.
If you are not familiar with making caramel and candy popcorn . . .
To make popcorn balls, simply butter your hands and form balls with the warm, candy-coated popcorn.
The first batch–we undercooked it slightly. When the candy is undercooked, it tends to be sticky which is great—I like it just a bit sticky. But it took a little coaxing to get the balls to stick together and they were a bit fragile until the balls sat for 30 minutes and the dried a bit. We would not have had that trouble if we had cooked the candy for another couple minutes.
We gave the popcorn balls to kids and their parents in the store. By the time they got them, they had dried and set and were perfect.
I was a little concerned about the color, afraid that when we tried to turn lemon popcorn pink by adding pink food coloring, it would turn orange. It didn’t.
The lemon popcorn was a pale yellow. We added a single drop of Americolor Deep Pink food color. Deep Pink is a “cool” pink and concentrated enough that it overcame the pale yellow. The resulting color was no longer cool but a beautiful warm pink color.
How to Make Lemon Popcorn with Syrup
- Pop 2/3 cup quality popcorn kernels.
- Use our Lemon Pancake Syrup Mix and mix and cook according to package directions. Make sure not to let any sugar stick to the edges of the pan or your whole batch may crystallize. Continue to cook until the mixture reaches 235-245 degrees. (Please use a candy thermometer). It is important for the mixture to reach this temperature. If it doesn’t the candy will not harden properly.
- Remove the pan from the stove and add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and stir quickly as the mixture begins to bubble. Add the pink food coloring.
- Pour the candy over the popped popcorn. Fold it into the popcorn until evenly coated.
Candied popcorn is best eaten the same day.