Chocolate Chip Popcorn Balls

1/4 cup butter
1 10 oz. bag regular marshmallows
1/2 cup honey or sugar (optional)
2 packages microwavable popcorn
1 cup (approx.) chocolate chips

  1. Prepare popcorn in microwave one bag at a time.  (This will take about 7 minutes.)
  2. While popcorn is popping, melt butter, marshmallows, honey/sugar in large pot over MEDIUM heat, stirring as needed.
  3. Stir in popcorn and mix well. Remove from heat and allow about 5 minutes for mixture to cool.  (Chocolate chips shouldn’t melt on contact.)
  4. Pour a handful of chips into a small bowl for your working area.  Stir in a small handful (maybe 1/4 cup) popcorn mix and incorporate chips as you form a ball. (See Chocolate Chips notes below.)

NOTES
This recipe is for smaller popcorn balls since they’re richer and messier with the added chocolate.

Popcorn
The sugars must not be heated too high (235 degrees max) or they will caramelize and become hard.
Scoop the popcorn into the pan, rather than pouring it, to avoid pouring in too many unpopped kernels.
If mix is too warm the chips will melt, which yields more of a brown popcorn ball.

Chocolate Chips
It is tricky trying to incorporate the chips while keeping the mixture cool but still sticky. Luckily only a few chips are needed in each ball for the flavor to come through.  The first few balls will no doubt turn out all wrong.  Eventually one gets the hang of taking a loose clump of popcorn, placing it in the small bowl with the chips and then forming it into a ball (while taking special care to stuff a few chips in center for good measure).  It’s not hard and it’s not tedius.  It’s fun, gooey and tasty and perfect for counter-top kids.
Wash hands as needed to avoid the brown popcorn ball look. (White popcorn balls with sporadic chocolate chips just looks better.)
Dark chocolate chips taste better and look better in these.
Some chips that are allowed to melt during forming may turn white in places.  If chips are melting upon contact with the popcorn, allow a little more cooling time before forming.

Store tightly covered 2 days.  Although I doubt they’ll last that long.  They never do.

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