Delicious popcorn balls held together with caramel that sings with the flavor of concentrated apple are a fall must try. Add a popsicle stick and dip them in white chocolate to make them an even more fun treat!
These fun caramel popcorn balls are flavored with real apple juice. They are delicious as is, but even more fun when dipped in white chocolate.
Add a popsicle stick to complete the transformation from popcorn ball to caramel apple. These fun treats are perfect for fall parties either as dessert or as a parting favor.
I am so excited to be starting another week devoted to apple recipes. I look forward to this event each year and the lineup this week is fabulous.
There are so many great recipes in the lineup. I worked up some of my favorite apple recipes yet.
Of course my blogger friends are sharing all kinds of great recipes as well. There is bound to be something for absolutely everyone!
I was tempted to try a truffle or a filled chocolate until popcorn balls popped into my head. For some reason I think of popcorn balls are a perfect fall treat.
They seem to come out around harvest time and Halloween. Really they are a perfect special treat for times like that when portability is as important as anything.
These caramel apple popcorn balls take that autumn connection to the next level. With notes of fresh apple and sweet deep caramel they marry two perfectly fall desserts together into one amazing treat.
Making the caramel apple popcorn balls
Making the actual popcorn balls is super easy. You start by making a bunch of popcorn.
You can use your favorite popping method. Stovetop, air popper, a few bags of microwave popcorn… it all works!
Next, take a little butter and some frozen apple juice concentrate and cooking them down to concentrate the flavors even further. This helps to get you some discernible apple flavor without adding too much liquid and making your popcorn balls mushy.
Then add a pound of chewy caramel candies and melt them. I used a one pound tub of chewy caramel, but a bag of candies from the store would work just as well.
Now form the popcorn into baseball sized balls and place on wax or parchment paper to set. You have a fabulous fall treat already!
To take them to the next level, dip the bottoms in melted chocolate or white chocolate. Feel free to dust them with chopped nuts or sprinkles while the chocolate is wet.
Now insert a popsicle stick to make them extra cute. Wrap them up in cellophane or plastic wrap and pass them out to all of your new best friends.
Now pat yourself on the back for a job well done!
Tips and tricks for making caramel apple popcorn balls
Use a big pot or bowl or plan to work in batches. I used a 7 qt Dutch oven hoping the residual heat would give me plenty of time with soft caramel to make the balls and it worked like a charm.
Grease your hands early and often! The warm caramel is sticky so keeping your hands coated with butter, shortening or even cooking spray helps keep the popcorn stuck to itself instead of you.
If well wrapped, the popcorn balls will store for up to a couple of weeks at room temperature. So they are a great make ahead treat.
Once the weather cools off, they would be a fun addition to care packages as well!
For more fun popcorn ideas, check out my collection of sweet popcorn recipes. Or tell me about your favorites in the comment below.
Caramel Apple Popcorn Balls
- 18 cups popped popcorn about 3 bags microwave popcorn or 1 1/4 cup kernels
- ½ cup apple juice concentrate the kind from the freezer section
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 16 ounces chewy caramel candy
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 pound white chocolate
- Optional: popsicle sticks chopped peanuts, sprinkles
- Pick through popcorn and be sure there aren’t any unpopped kernels in there.
- In a large dutch oven or stock pot, cook the apple juice concentrate and butter over medium-low heat until it simmers. Stir constantly until its volume is reduced by half. It should be visibly thicker.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the caramel candy to the pot. Continue to stir until the caramels are completely melted. Stir in the salt and remove from heat.
- Add popcorn to the pot and stir to coat.
- Grease hands well. Take a large handful of popcorn mixture and form into a ball about the size of a baseball. Place on a piece of wax paper to set. Continue until all popcorn has been used.
- If desired, insert popsicle sticks.
- Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl in the microwave. Start with a 30 second burst, then stir well. Continue heating the chocolate 15 seconds at a time just until it will stir smooth. Be sure not to burn the chocolate.
- Dip the bottom half of the popcorn ball into the melted chocolate, coat with nuts or sprinkles if desired. Place back on the wax paper to set up.
- Wrap in plastic wrap or cellophane and store at room temperature.