butter, salted or unsalted, cut into pieces, plus more for the pan
popped popcorn (or sub in 4 cups of your favorite unsweetened or lightly sweetened cereal)
1 1/4 cups
pure vanilla extract
sprinkles or chocolate candy (like mini M&Ms, chopped-up Kit Kats, or similar)
In This Recipe
Butter a rimmed baking sheet and set aside. Set the popcorn and cereal in a very large bowl. Set the other ingredients into small bowls—the process goes quickly so you’ll want to have everything ready to go.
In a medium heavy bottomed pot, combine the sugar, golden syrup, butter, and salt. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan.
Cook the mixture, stirring only for the first minute or so to combine everything, until the temperature reaches 235°F.
Remove from the heat and take off the thermometer. Immediately stir in the vanilla extract and baking soda. It will foam up a bit.
Immediately pour the hot sugar mixture over the popcorn and cereal. Use a wooden spoon to evenly coat the mixture in the sugar syrup. Add the sprinkle and toss to combine. Let the mixture cool slightly. It needs to be cool enough to handle, but not so cool that it won’t stick together into balls.
Use a one-cup measuring cup to scoop some of the mixture out. Then use your clean hands to press the mixture into a tight ball. Set onto the prepared sheet to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining popcorn mixture.