No Karo Syrup No Problem. When I was a kid and my parents were at work me and my 3 brothers would make popcorn balls for a treat and we did not have karo syrup so we did it the old fashion way. One of the first things our mom taught us was the softball stage. I can still see my big brother cooking the mixture now. This is very easy to make and is great when you don't have ready made treats but have Milk, Sugar, and butter.
I hope you enjoy these lightly coated popcorn balls.
1In a small non stick sauce pan melt butter and then add sugar and then add milk over medium heat until boiling.
2Boil over a steady medium heat until the mixture thickens to a soft ball stage. About 235 degrees. The mixture should pull apart instead of drip when you touch it. You can test it by putting a glass of water in the freezer and chill. Then take a spoonful of the boiling mixture and dip it in the ice cold water and it should be gummy. This take about 10-15 min. The lower the temperature the longer it takes.
3While the mixture is boiling; butter a large pot or bowl to mix in.
4When the sugar has reached the softball stage you can pour the bubbling mixture over the popcorn in the pan. Move quickly stirring the pot with one hand and pouring the hot mixture with the other to equally distribute the syrup. Then put the saucepan down and mix quickly the popcorn with a spoon. Then quickly butter your hands and form 8 popcorn balls by squeezing the ball to hold it. *Note the mixture could still be hot in some places*. That's why it is good to mix it thoroughly, but quickly.