In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, corn syrup, water butter and salt. Using a candy thermometer, heat the mixture until it reaches 270 degrees ( hard ball stage). If you don’t have a thermometer, drop a small amount of mixture into ice water. It should solidify and turn into hard, brittle threads when done.
Remove the syrup from the heat and stir in vanilla and food dye. Place the half of the popcorn in a large bowl and pour half of the syrup on top, stirring to coat. Repeat with the remaining popcorn and syrup until all of the popcorn is covered in syrup. Let cool slightly, grease your hands with butter and quickly shape the popcorn into a tennis ball size shape. Place a popsicle stick into each ball, dip into melted chocolate and then sprinkle with sprinkles. Continue with until all of the popcorn is done. Place on wax paper and until the chocolate is set. Wrap each ball in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Tip: Melt your chocolate in the microwave or double boiler until very smooth and don’t forget to remove any unpopped kernels before making your balls!