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Puffed Rice Molasses Balls

Your parents MUST help with this one!

Ingredients

4 cups puffed rice

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup molasses

1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

Put a large mixing bowl in a 100 degree F oven to warm so that the syrup will not harden on the bottom of the bowl when added to the puffed rice.

Combine syrup, molasses, cider vinegar and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, and cook at a slow boil until the "hard ball" stage is reached; that is, when a few drops of the syrup are dropped into a cup of cold water, they form a hard ball. If you have a candy thermometer, cook until the syrup reaches 250 degrees F. Take off heat and add vanilla extract.

Put warmed bowl on the table and pour in the 4 cups of puffed rice. Slowly add the syrup, stirring the puffed rice with a fork, turning it over and over so all sides are covered with the syrup. If there seems to be too much syrup, add more puffed rice. If syrup starts to cool and thicken in the pan, put it back over the heat to melt.

With a tablespoon, scoop out enough of the mixture to form a ball about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Do not squeeze the mixture. The balls should be loosely held together and do not have to be perfectly shaped. You may have to butter your hands to keep the syrup from sticking to them. Work rapidly, and place the balls on a sheet of wax paper as they are formed. Let cool, then wrap each piece in clear plastic food wrap.


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