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On a Stick by Matt Armendariz {Recipe: Caramel Popcorn Balls)

I have what I would call a somewhat strange obsession with food trucks and fair food. We don’t have many food trucks in Kansas, unless you count the ice cream man, but fairs? Boy oh boy do we have fairs and from a young age, I have been fascinated by the food served at these venues.

Back when I was young, you could find the typical cotton candy, funnel cakes, soft pretzels and corn dogs. Now, you can find just about anything at a fair and most of the time, it is served on a stick.

Naturally, when Matt Armendariz (from Matt Bites) announced that his first cookbook was going to be all about foods on a stick, I was intrigued. Expecting normal fair type food, I was surprised when I opened the book to find unique offerings like Deep Fried Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Pineapple Funnels, and Fruit Salad on a stick. I should have known not to expect the ordinary from Matt…he is anything but. Matt went above and beyond and shared hundreds of On a Stick recipes in his new cookbook. In fact, I am so inspired by his book, hosting a food on a stick party is on my summertime bucket list! Won’t that be fun?

My kids love caramel popcorn, so I thought it would be fun to make Matt’s caramel popcorn balls on a stick. (Side note: this book has made me realized that I need to go stick shopping very soon because the only sticks I had on hand were cocktail toothpicks!) I ended up making the popcorn balls into mini, bite sized versions, which turned out perfect for the little mouths at my house.

There are so many fun ideas for food on a stick in his cookbook… if you like to entertain or if you simply like to do things with a unique flair, Matt’s book is worth saving a space for on your bookshelf.

Recipe: Caramel Popcorn Balls on a Stick from Matt Armendariz’s cookbook On a Stick

  • 8 wood sticks
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 cups popped popcorn (I use this Perfect Popcorn stovetop recipe)
  1. Combine sugars and corn syrup with 1/3 cup water in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until sugars dissolve. Once mixture has reached 240° F, remove from the heat and stir in butter.
  2. Return to heat and continue cooking until mixture reaches 300°F. Remove from heat and careful stir in baking soda and salt. (The mixture will bubble aggressively, so stir with caution).
  3. Place popcorn in a large bowl and gently fold in caramel mixture until well coated. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Using greased heatproof gloves, take a handful of caramel corn and roll it into a ball. Place on the prepared baking sheet and pierce with a pop stick. Repeat to form 8 balls. Refrigerate 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until firm. Let sit at room temperature about 15 minutes before serving.


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  1. Looks like a wonderfully fun book! Need to check it out soon, but make sure to hide it from the kids until I get to peruse it.

  2. Looks like everyone is talking about Matt’s book. Sounds like an innovative idea for a book and specially for a party thrower like me. Will be checking it out soon!

  3. How fun!! Must have it. Ordering now :)

  4. I think we need to watch a movie tonight and make these! So fun!

  5. This looks delicious! I think the stick idea is so fun.

  6. i love this idea!!! wonder if i could get away w/Christmas . . . on a stick?!!

  7. We served chicken nuggets with toothpicks to my 3 year old tonight. Does that count as food on a stick? ;-)

  8. So many creative recipes in that book – I need to get started on it soon! Our San Diego fair starts this Friday – so excited!

  9. I have seen so amazing things come out of this book and now I have one more to add to it!

  10. Boy does this look like a book to add to the collection! Everything does taste better on a stick after all!

  11. Fair food is fun! I especially like ice cream cones and corn dogs. Yum.

  12. I need to get this book, too cute….just like these popcorn balls! My kids would love these. These would make the perfect summer movie night treat!

  13. Gimme, gimme, gimme! Me and fair food on a stick are close. Real close. Can’t wait to check this book out!

  14. Oh, really fun. Chocolate-dipped anything on a stick works for me :)

  15. Love it! My kids too would love the popcorn balls. Would make a great addition to out piggy pops we make at our bake sales.

  16. This looks like a fun treat! :) Love anything caramel, anything popcorn!

  17. Love the idea of bite sized on the coctail sticks – and LOVE Matt and all he does – oh and let’s not forget ADAM!

  18. I’ve been hearing so many great things about this book, I love the fun concept behind it!

  19. I will get a copy of this book! Everything is so delectable and looks and taste good…

  20. What a fun book!………everything is more fun on a stick!


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  2. [...] original post here: On a Stick by Matt Armendariz Recipe Caramel Popcorn Balls | Dine … Categories : Caramel Popcorn Tags : armendariz, balls, caramel popcorn, caramel-popcorn, [...]

  3. [...] Caramel Popcorn Balls :: Dine and Dish [...]

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