Chocolate Popcorn Balls for a Family Movie Night

This article is sponsored by Pop Secret. All opinions and thoughts shared are 100% my own.

We have a hard time settling on a movie that all of us can watch for a Family Movie Night– it’s hard being the only woman in a house full of boys and men.  Their taste isn’t mine.  At Christmas though, I have a whole collection of family favorites that we watch each season.    My favorite for Family Movie Night is the Homecoming, the prequel to the Waltons television series.  The show embraces the best of Christmas movies– it’s about love, and family.  The other thing that is special about this movie is the fact that the family doesn’t have a lot of money, but they do have special things at Christmas, and one of them is popcorn balls, and popcorn strung around the Christmas tree that was chopped in their yard.  I thought I would share a recipe for Chocolate Popcorn Balls to make if you ever decide to watch this movie.  Plus, thanks to Popsecret Popcorn, you can use their handy Perfect Pop App to make sure that you get a perfect batch of popcorn for your homemade popcorn balls each time!  It’s so easy to use!
My Mom Made That: Chocolate Popcorn Balls

To make my chocolate popcorn balls, I used the Homestyle Popsecret popcorn. It is lightly salted and butter, and has a flavor that tastes just like the popcorn that my grandmother made on her stove. It’s delicious!

My Mom Made That: Chocolate Popcorn Balls

Everyone can relate to the frustration of burning popcorn, so Pop Secret decided to solve the problem once and for all, so you can spend more time enjoying movies and less time worrying about burned popcorn!Now if you want to try the Perfect Pop App, here’s how it works:

With your iPhone 5+ on iOS 7+, download Perfect Pop (“Perfect Popcorn”) for free on the App Store.

1. Put a bag of Pop Secret in the microwave and enter suggested cooking time from the packaging. Note: Perfect Pop is optimized for the deliciousness of Pop Secret popcorn only.

2. Turn up the volume on your iPhone. Point the phone’s speaker towards the microwave and keep within 3 feet.

3. Start the microwave, and then start the app.

No more relying on the popcorn button or guessing how many seconds in between pops. Pop Secret is serious about perfect popcorn, so the less you have to worry about, the more time you can spend enjoying movie night with your friends & family. Perfect Pop listens to the pops, waiting for the precise moment to let you know when your popcorn is perfect.

My Mom Made That: Chocolate Popcorn Balls

Honestly, the popcorn was perfect, not a single burnt kernel and only about 5 under-popped kernels. There were no unpopped kernels in the bottom of the bag! Now if you don’t have an iPhone, or you’d rather do it yourself, you can still get beautiful popcorn, you’ll just have to stand by the microwave and listen to the popping.   After the popcorn was perfectly popped, here’s how I made the Chocolate Popcorn Balls!

Ingredients

  • 1 Popped Bag of Popsecret Homestyle Popcorn
  • 4 1/2 Cups of mini marshmallows
  • 5 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips

My Mom Made That: Chocolate Popcorn Balls

I melted the butter in saucepan over medium heat, and poured the popcorn and chocolate chips into a big bowl that would allow for both my hands to get in their and mix. Once the butter is melted, pour in the marshmallows and stir them up with the butter, letting the mixture melt. The mixture should be well melted. I then poured the mixture over popcorn and chocolate chips, and blended and tossed it together with a spatula. Once it was well-mixed, and somewhat cooler, I used my hands to mix it thoroughly and form it into balls. I was able to get 7 good sized balls with one bag of popcorn. I let them cool for about an hour until they were all ready for movie time! Yum!

My Mom Made That: Chocolate Popcorn Balls

Reese’s Devil’s Food Cake Cookies

I love cookies.  I think that they are probably my favorite dessert, besides cake.  Actually, this recipe is a wonderful combination of both cake and cookies, as the primary ingredient is Devil’s Food Cake mix.  Yup, it comes from a cake mix, and it’s delicious.  I first had these cookies at a bake sale during the 2000 Presidential Election (remember that one that lasted several months?).  The PTA was selling goodies outside the polling place to raise money, and I picked up a few of these.  I had finished all 4 by the time I reached my car, and went inside, and said that I’d rather just buy the recipe.  Well, for $2, I got this tasty recipe for Reese’s Devil’s Food Cake Cookies.  They are similar to another cookie recipe that I have shared, except they are cakier, and even easier to make.  If you need a quick recipe to take to a school event, then this recipe is for you!  You can make an entire batch in under 90 minutes!

My Mom Made That: Reeses Devil Food Cake Cookies

Given that the primary ingredient is cake mix, the cakes are a little thick and chewy.  They puff up a bit, and do seem to be a cross between a cake and a cookie.  Here’s all you need to make them:

Ingredients

  • 2 Boxes of Devil’s Food Cake Mix (with pudding in the mix)
  • 2/3 Cup of Melted Unsalted Butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup of Water (add only what’s needed).
  • 12 oz package of Reese’s Peanut Butter chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Add melted butter and one box of cake mix to your mixer and blend.  Then add the eggs and the second box of cake mix.  The mixture will be very thick.  Slowly add water, until you have added at least 1/4 cup, but no more than 1/3 of a cup.  Once the ingredients are well mixed, add the chips to the dough.  Make generous, tablespoon-sized scoops to cookie sheet.  Bake for 9-10 minutes.  Then allow to cool on cookie sheet for at least another five minutes– this allows the cookies to finish baking and firm up.

My Mom Made That: Reeses Devil Food Cake CookiesThe recipe makes about 32-36 medium sized cookies.  They will be tougher if you allow them to cook longer, so err on the side of under cooking.  They taste great warm, and have a great flavor the next day too!  They are a hit with both of my boys!

My Mom Made That: Reeses Devil Food Cake Cookies

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Grasshopper Pie

Well move on over Valentine’s Day, it’s time to get in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day.  Yes, just one short month from today is that jolliest of Irish holidays, St. Patrick’s day.  To help everyone get their Irish on, I’m going to share with you a recipe that is much like eating a frozen thin mint pie.  It’s called Grasshopper Pie, and I’m sure that there are a number of variations of this recipe.  The one I’m going to share with you today includes a bit of alcohol in the recipe that’s from Creme de Menthe and Creme de Cacao.  I will try to include suggestions to make the non alcoholic version of the recipe in case the traditional Grasshopper pie ingredients need to be modified for your family.

My Mom Made That: Grasshopper Pie
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Valentine’s Day Spritz Cookies

We’re  bundled up at home today due to Winter Storm Pax.  As the house was feeling a bit chilly, I decided to get baking, and I really wanted to make some cheerful, colorful Valentine’s Day cookies.  I decided to find my grandmother’s cookie press, and make a Spritz cookie with the press.  I like using the cookie press, as it’s much easier than rolling and cutting cookies.  The Big One asked me to make sure that I added some chocolate to them.  I wasn’t quite sure of the best solution, given that I wanted to make the cookies pink for Valentine’s Day.  I remembered that I had a few of the mini-sized Hershey’s kisses.  I grabbed those, the red food coloring, the cookie ingredients, and the cookie press, and tried my hand at the Valentine’s Day Spritz Cookies.  This recipe makes a ton of cookies, approximately 72 to 84, so there will be plenty to share with your loved ones!

My Mom Made That: Valentine's Day Spritz Cookies
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Heath Bar Chip Cookies

The cold weather and snow kept us inside today.  Thankfully, unlike thousands of Atlanta families, all of us were safe and sound at home.  The Big One was able to go sledding with some friends, and the Monkey got to explore the snow a bit more.  Most people make hot cocoa or snow cream to celebrate winter weather, but this bag of heath bar bits was calling to me all day.  I decided that what I needed to do was whip up a quick batch of cookies.  It’s just a basic cookie recipe with a bag of heath bar bits, but rarely do the cookies in our house get gobbled up so quickly.  I wasn’t planning on sharing them here, but these Heath Bar Chip Cookies disappeared so quickly that I thought someone else might like to try the recipe.

My Mom Made That: Heath Bar Chip Cookies
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