From hotcakes to snow candy, recreate the delicious frontier foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s classic stories!

Almanzo's pancakes

Popcorn Balls

Always ask permission from an adult before you begin cooking. Never cook by yourself.

You will need:

4 Quarts of popped corn
1/2 Cup molasses
2 Cups brown sugar
4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1/3 Cup water
Butter for your hands
Measuring cup
Large bowl
Large saucepan
Candy thermometer
Small bowl of cold water
Mixing spoon
Waxed paper

Put the popped corn in the large bowl, leaving plenty of room for mixing (prepare the corn in batches, if necessary). Combine the molasses, brown sugar, butter, and water in saucepan. Bring this mixture to a boil and keep it boiling over low heat until it reaches 250º, or until a few drops of it form a hard ball in cold water. This will take about 20 minutes.


Carefully pour the hot syrup into the bowl of popcorn and mix it with a spoon. Butter your hands well. When the popcorn mixture is cool enough to handle, but still warm so that the syrup remains liquid, gather handfuls of corn and press lightly into balls. Work quickly to keep from burning your hands. Keep buttering your hands to keep them from sticking to the syrup. Set the popcorn balls on waxed paper to harden.

Recipe taken from The Little House Treasury by Carolyn Strom Collins and Christina Wyss Erikson.

Laura Ingalls Wilder