Popcorn balls are classic fall and Halloween goodies. There are plenty of variations on ways to make the sticky, sweet treats but this one may be my favorite. Not only are these popcorn balls quick and easy to prepare, but also they’re made with Louisiana’s own Steen’s Cane Syrup. The trick to making popcorn balls with cane syrup is boiling it to what is known as a ‘hard ball.’ This is a new cooking term for me so I had to do a little research. Turns out, my cooking thermometer even had a mark on it for cooking to a hard ball. When forming the balls, be sure to use gloves for protection — the syrup is hot, hot!


  • 2 cups Steen’s Pure Cane Syrup
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 quarts popped corn
  • Salted peanuts (optional)


Boil syrup and salt over a low fire, stirring constantly. Boil syrup to a hard ball (syrup reaches 235 degrees). To test, place a few drops of syrup in cold water and see if it becomes brittle. Remove from heat and add butter. Pour over the popped corn and peanuts, mix and shape into large balls.