Have you ever thought about decorating the Christmas tree with edible ornaments? Try making these healthy popcorn ball ornaments with apples and honey. You can hang them on the tree for a tasty Christmas or New Year’s Eve snack!
Popcorn balls are one of those traditional holiday foods that never lose their charm. If you’re a fan of caramel popcorn, you’ll love these popcorn ball ornaments with apples and honey.
Especially when you hang them on your country Christmas tree. These popcorn balls don’t just taste amazing; they look beautiful too.
Naturally sweetened and crunchy, you can make these balls several days ahead of time and hang them up, so they’re ready whenever you need them.
Whether you make these edible Christmas tree ornaments for Christmas day or for a New Year’s eve party, everyone will love the novelty of choosing their treat from the tree!
How to Make Popcorn Balls with Honey
These popcorn balls take about 30 minutes to whip out, primarily because you have to pop the corn first! Here’s what you need to make the recipe.
Items You’ll Need
- Popcorn machine or kettle
- Small stockpot
- Mixing bowl
- Metal baking pan
- Wax paper
- Red string
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Dried apples
This recipe is actually quite simple. Here are the steps you need to follow. And as always, I have a printable recipe at the bottom for your convenience!
Measure 1/3 cup of corn kernels into your popcorn maker or in a prepared kettle. Pop corn until kernels have been up. Set aside 8 cups.
In a small pot on the stovetop, measure in 1 teaspoon of butter, 1 cup of honey and vanilla. Bring to a boil under medium heat, then lower heat to a very gentle, bubbling simmer.
Simmer for 10 minutes or until honey is stiff and tacky when cooled on a spoon. Set aside and roughly chop dried apples into small pieces.
Dump popped corn into a bowl and carefully pour the hot honey syrup over. Do not use your hands. Use your spatula to mix things around and also add dried apples at this time.
Butter your hands and test a small kernel of popcorn for heat. When you can safely use your hands, mold popcorn into 3 inch balls, firmly squeezing each one so it’ll stick together.
Place these balls on a pan lined with parchment paper. Let them cool for 30 minutes or until they’re room temperature.
Cut your red string to length and tie up your popcorn balls, making a loop on the top for hanging as a Christmas tree ornament.
Display on your Christmas tree for 4 days or so.
After this, the popcorn will start to soften and lose a bit of it’s crunch. But the popcorn balls are still delicious and can stay on the tree for a week or more.
Are These Popcorn Balls Sugar Free?
No. While these popcorn balls are sweetened 100% with honey, honey is natural sugar and these popcorn balls are definitely very sweet!
Can You Reduce the Amount of Honey in These Popcorn Balls?
If these balls are too sweet for you, go ahead and reduce the honey to 3/4 cup or even 1/2 cup. Just be aware that they may not hold together as well if you cut back on the honey content!
How Long Will Popcorn Balls Last on the Tree?
If you want to maintain the crunch of your popcorn, don’t wrap the balls. Just tie them up with string and let them hang in open air. They will hold their crunchiness for 5 days or so.
And if you’re ok with slightly soft popcorn? These delicious balls will last for at least 10 days! But chances are, they won’t last that long, because they’re so tasty you won’t be able to keep your hands off of them!
Popcorn Ball Ornaments with Honey and Apples
- 1 popcorn machine or kettle
- a small stockpot
- mixing bowl
- metal cookie sheet
- parchment paper
- red string
- 1/3 cup popcorn kernels (8 cups popped)
- 1 cup raw honey
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 cup dried apple, chopped
- Measure corn kernels into a popcorn machine or kettle.
- Pop corn and measure 8 cups into a mixing bowl. Set aside.
- In a small pot on the stove, melt butter and measure in 1 cup of honey.
- Add 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla and bring everything to a bubbling simmer on medium heat.
- Reduce heat to low and gently simmer the bubbling honey.
- Simmer for 8 minutes and test honey by cooling a wee bit on a spoon. When the honey is thick and won't run around on the spoon because it has become too thick and gooey, remove the pot from heat.
- Immediately pour over the popcorn in your bowl and use a spatula to stir and coat popcorn kernels with honey. Do NOT use your hands for this step, or the honey will stick to and badly scald your skin.
- Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
- Butter your hands and test one kernel of corn to see if it can be safely handled without scalding your skin.
- When the temperature has cooled enough, start forming popcorn into balls the size of a baseball.
- Set each one on the parchment paper, leaving space between each so they don't stick together.
- Form balls and let cool for about 15 minutes or until they reach room temperature.
- Cut several 12 inch lengths of red string and knot them together on one end.
- Place the knotted string on your counter or tabletop and spread the string out evenly.
- Place your popcorn ball in the center of the string, directly on top of the knot.
- Gather the strings up around the ball and knot on the top. Create a bow, if you wish.
- Knot the loose ends of the string to create a loop for hanging your popcorn ball on the Christmas tree.
- Hang balls as they are for 4-5 days or longer, if desired.
- To eat, remove string and enjoy!