This recipe is made with mom in mind! It is a quick and easy treat for the kiddos that can be prepared as a popcorn ball or just loose in a bowl. It’s a creative recipe that’s great for the holidays!


Cocoa Popcorn Balls

  • 1 cup packed golden brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon Rodelle Gourmet Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup Rodelle Baking Cocoa
  • 4 cups popped unflavored popcorn, popped

Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 Rodelle Vanilla Bean, split and scraped
  • Pinch of salt

Cocoa Popcorn Balls

  1. In a large, glass, measuring cup, combine the brown sugar, syrup, salt, butter, and Rodelle Pure Vanilla
  2. Extract to make the syrup. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir and put back in microwave for 2 more minutes. Add the baking soda and stir well (mixture will foam).
  3. Place the popped-popcorn and Rodelle Baking Cocoa in a large brown paper bag.
  4. Shake well to distribute the cocoa evenly over the popcorn.
  5. Pour the syrup into the bag and shake to coat.
  6. Turn the bag under to close, and microwave on high for 1 minute.
  7. Pour contents onto a cookie sheet.
  8. When popcorn mixture is still warm, form into balls in an ice cream scoop with medium pressure, and let cool to harden.
  9. Drizzle popcorn balls with Rodelle Vanilla Bean caramel sauce.

Caramel Sauce:

  1. Chef Note: This process takes 15 minutes. In order to get a rich caramel flavor, make sure to let the caramel develop.
  2. Combine the sugar and water in a heavy saucepan. Set over medium-high heat and swirl the saucepan gently by the handle until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup is clear.
  3. Avoid letting the syrup boil until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  4. Increase the heat to high, cover and boil the syrup for 2 minutes. Uncover the saucepan and continue to boil the syrup until it begins to darken around the edges. Gently swirl the pan by the handle until the syrup turns a deep amber and begins to smoke.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the butter. Gently beat until the butter is incorporated. Stir in the cream.
  6. If the sauce becomes lumpy, set the pan over low heat and stir until smooth. Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla bean seeds and pinch of salt.
  7. Serve warm at room temperature. Sauce can be covered and refrigerated for up to one month. Reheat in double broiler or a heavy saucepan over very low heat, adding a bit of water if it’s too thick.