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
Take off heat and add vanilla extract.
Put warmed bowl on the table and pour in the 4 cups of puffed rice.
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