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Growing up, we always had popcorn balls at Christmas. I have fond memories of the popcorn machine loudly running for what seemed like hours as my mom popped bowl after bowl of popcorn.
Then there was the mixing of the sticky sweet stuff that holds them together, followed by festive wrapping in cellophane paper and ribbons. While I enjoyed them, they always seemed like a lot of work.
I figured there must be an easier way to make a popcorn ball for our family movie night and, of course, I went to Pinterest for inspiration. Bingo! Why not just make popcorn balls similar to marshmallow treats?
Bryce had been asking to see The Boxtrolls since it came out so I picked up a copy and a box of popcorn to snack on while we watched. I made the popcorn balls before we started watching the movie. Then while we watched, the boys built their own Boxtrolls using the popcorn balls for heads, a juice box, pretzels for arms and a mouth and candy for the eyes.
Oh! And a fancy white hat made from marshmallows, since the humans in the movie are so covetous of having the status of owning a white hat! A little dab of frosting held all the pieces together. After they were done, they got to eat their creations! 🙂
If you don’t really want to go to the work of making popcorn balls, you can make Marshmallow Caramel Popcorn instead. It’s a simple recipe that’s made in the microwave.
The boys keep talking about how silly it was for the “bad guy” to keep eating cheese when he was allergic to it. It was a great picture of the absurdity of going after something you want at all costs.
He just wanted to eat cheese and wear a fancy white hat like the important people in town, and it didn’t matter that he had to lie and hurt the Boxtrolls to get what he wanted.
We don’t usually discuss movies and their themes but The Boxtrolls lends itself to some thoughtful discussions. I like when a lesson is presented in a silly way and is something we can all identify with!
Easy Popcorn Balls
- 2 bags of microwave popcorn popped
- 1/4 cup butter melted
- 1 bag large marshmallows
- Pop the popcorn, being careful not to burn it. (Because NOTHING tastes worse than burnt popcorn!) Dump the popcorn out of the bag and into a bowl, being sure to remove any kernels that may have slipped through.
- In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and slowly add the marshmallows, stirring constantly until melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
- Pour the sticky marshmallow goo over the popcorn and mix thoroughly, making sure it's evenly coated. Allow to cool before you try to shape the balls! When it's cool enough to touch, shape into balls with your hands. You can butter your hands or use wax paper if it's too sticky to handle easily.
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