popcorn balls

These are not your everyday popcorn balls!

My mom and I used to make popcorn balls every year to go in our “cookie” baskets for Christmas. These popcorn balls are really special though because they taste rich and caramely. The secret… we add a little bit of brown sugar. The brown sugar adds a gourmet and almost chewy texture to the popcorn balls. I went a little extra with it and added some vanilla extract and finished them with sea salt. The touch of sea salt on the top really balances the flavor and makes these over the top! Of course, you can always add some fun and festive sprinkles to the mix so these can be perfect for any and every holiday.

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  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • ¼ cup brown sugar 

  • 10 ounces marshmallows 

  • 12 heaping cups of popcorn (aka 3 quarts) 

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 

  • Sea salt


1. In a large heavy pot, melt the butter over medium to low heat.

2. Stir in the brown sugar and marshmallows.

3. Stir until the mixture is almost completely melted. 

4. Remove the pot from the heat.

5. Stir in the vanilla.

6. Stir in the popcorn and mix until well coated.

7. Allow the mixture to cool enough so that it can be handled.

8. Scoop out the desired size of the popcorn ball and use your hands to shape the mixture into a ball.

9. Place the popcorn balls on a baking sheet lined with wax paper to cool.

10. Before they cool, sprinkle the tops of the popcorn balls with a small sprinkle of sea salt.

popcorn ball recipe

maria provenzano popcorn balls