Friday, March 25, 2016

White Chocolate Popcorn Balls (or...Easter Eggs!)

This is an adaptation of a recipe some of my Culinary Arts students tested and promoted for the "Good Citizens" treats we make and send to the elementary school at the end of each month (  ...with a few adaptations). Since Easter comes early this year, we added some food coloring, substituted some rainbow nonpareil "sprinkles" instead of the almonds (one of the 8 common allergens, and generally avoided in school snacks for groups of students). Achieving a true egg-shape is a challenge, especially working fairly quickly to get the entire batch shaped before the marshmallow-chocolate mixture cools too much. But I think the elementary students -- who are not severe critics to begin with -- will enjoy them!

Yield: about 56 (or so says Martha...but only if you make bite-sized tiny balls)

4 quarts popped popcorn
oil for popping
 tsp salt
3 Tbls unsalted butter
10 oz marshmallows
6 oz white chocolate
1/3 C sliced almonds (we used rainbow nonpareil 'sprinkles')
non-stick cooking spray
optional: food coloring

Pop popcorn in a large sauce pan or stock pot (with a lid): Using jut enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan, add corn kernels over medium-high heat; swirl and shake frequently to avoid burning. Sprinkle popcorn with salt. (Remove unpopped kernels.)

Melt butter in large pan over low heat. Add marshmallows and chocolate, stirring until melted. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring.

Remove from heat; quickly stir in almonds and popcorn and then nonpareils. Shape into balls (or semi egg shaped oblongs!J  Transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper; let stand 30 minutes. We didn't find the parchment paper to be necessary, but it does make for easy clean-up.

Can be stored airtight up to 1 day.

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