Popcorn balls are fun hand-sized snacks that bring back memories of opening Christmas packages from my grandmother or flipping through old-fashioned cookbooks. Traditional. Light. Fun. Sweet.
Peeps should fit right into that: they’re candy available once a year in whimsical shapes and bright colors. And they’re covered in sugar, so nothing could be sweeter, right? Wrong, if you’re my family:
So here’s the thing: I don’t actually think peeps taste very good on their own. But they are colorful. So when we started talking about using popcorn as wedding favors last year for my brother’s wedding, popcorn balls came to mind pretty quickly, especially for kids.
I wanted ones that were as simple as possible to make (the old fashioned ones come with lots of opportunities to burn yourself on hot caramel) and when I started seeing recipes that used melted peeps to make rice crispy treats, this seemed like an easy way to match up to their wedding colors too:
This is probably one of the easiest recipes I will ever post. But I will say using a microwave will get you the best results – the image of my sister cackling above not withstanding, melting them on the stovetop turned out to be more difficult, more messy, and it caramelized some of the sugar and messed up the colors.
Plus you don’t get to watch them puff before them melt, which is my favorite part of this.
Rainbow Peep Popcorn Balls
Technically you will need to repeat this recipe a few times and get quite a few more popcorn balls if you want them to actually be rainbow.
- 1/3 cup popcorn, popped (or 1-2 bags of microwave popcorn)
- 1 large package peeps
- 1-2 Tbsp. butter
- spray grease
- Pop the popcorn and set it aside to cool
- Put the peeps and the butter in a large bowl in the microwave, preferably a clear one you can see through. Microwave for 15-20 second bursts until they have clearly puffed and are very soft.
- Stir the peeps and butter until they blend into a soupy, fluffy mess of color.
- Spray your (clean!) hands with oil and quickly scoop the melted mess over the popcorn and mix together, as you would for rice crispy treats.
- When the mixture is holding the popcorn together, break it off into chunks and mold into snow-ball sized lumps to cool.
- Wrap in plastic if you aren’t going to eat them immediately.