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Food

Dakota Weiss’s Toffee Popcorn Balls

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The executive chef of Estrella and Sweetfin Poke in Los Angeles offers a sweet treat on a stick

Dakota Weiss’s Toffee Popcorn Balls

3 qts. popped popcorn
1 cup light-brown sugar
½ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup corn syrup
1 tsp. table salt
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda Cooking spray
2 oz. white vanilla candy melts
2 oz. red vanilla candy melts
2 oz. blue vanilla candy melts

1. Place popped popcorn in a large bowl.

2. Place brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 270°. Remove pan from heat. Carefully stir in vanilla and baking soda. (Mixture will bubble up.) Pour mixture over popcorn; toss until well coated. Let stand until slightly cooled, 1 to 2 minutes.

3. Coat hands with cooking spray. Shape popcorn mixture into 8 balls, each about the size of a tennis ball, pressing firmly to adhere. Let popcorn balls stand on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet until set, about 15 minutes. Insert a 6-inch bamboo skewer in the center of each popcorn ball.

4. Melt red, white and blue candy melts according to package directions, 1 color at a time. Dip each ball in the white candy to coat completely, letting any excess drip off. Drizzle red and blue candy evenly over balls. Let stand until set, about 15 minutes. Store in an airtight container.
Serves: 8
Active time: 50 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes

Food Hack! “For an all-natural red and blue color, crush freeze-dried raspberries and blueberries and use them to ‘dye’ the white chocolate,” says Weiss.