Maple Popcorn Balls

This is an old Algonquian treat — the original Cracker Jack.


  • 1/4 cup popping corn
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons butter


  1. Pop corn according to package directions. Season with salt, if desired.
  2. Heat syrup and butter in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until temperature reaches 250 degrees F on a candy thermometer or until a few drops form soft balls when dropped in cold water.
  3. Remove pan from heat and pour mixture over popcorn. When mixture is cool enough, toss popcorn with syrup and mold into balls, and cool on a buttered baking sheet.
  4. Store cooled popcorn balls in an airtight container.

Yield: about 8