“Bloody Brain” Popcorn Balls

Ew. I know. But Bloody Brains score extremely high on the effort/impact scale: they take just a few minutes to make, and everybody will have something to say about them. (That something will probably be “ew.”)

Note: Popcorn balls are always best when they’re super-fresh, but you can make these up to a day in advance provided you wrap them individually in plastic wrap and put them in an airtight container; the jelly will retain its shine really well.


What You Need:

  • 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn
  • 5 cups mini marshmallows
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • Red and blue food coloring
  • Strawberry jelly

What You Do:

  1. Pop the popcorn according to package instructions.
  2. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter, then add the marshmallows and stir constantly until completely melted and smooth.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in as much red food coloring as you want (depending on whether you want a pinkish or red effect), then quickly add the popcorn and stir vigorously to combine.
  4. After the mixture has cooled for a couple of minutes (you want it to still be warm and pliable, but not too sticky to handle), lay out a large sheet of wax paper to use as a working surface. Use your hands to shape two oblong-shaped popcorn balls (about 1-inch long each), then – while the balls are still warm – press them together to form the two hemispheres of the brain. Repeat until you’ve used up all of your popcorn mixture.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the strawberry jelly with a few drops of red food coloring and a few drops of blue food coloring, to make it darker.
  6. Spoon a small amount of the jelly along the center of each brain.
  7. Let cool completely on wax paper.

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