Guess what? This is a whole-grain dessert. To keep the stickiness at bay, wear latex gloves coated with cooking spray as you shape the popcorn balls.
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/3 cup unpopped popcorn
1 ounce lightly crushed apple chips
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cinnamon hard candies
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
How to Make It
Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add popcorn; cover and cook 3 minutes or until kernels pop, shaking pan frequently. When popping slows down, remove pan from heat. Let stand 1 minute or until popping stops. Pour popcorn into a large bowl coated with cooking spray. Stir in apple chips.
Combine sugar and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a medium, heavy saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until a candy thermometer registers 300°. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Immediately pour hot syrup over popcorn; toss well to coat. Cool slightly (about 1 to 2 minutes). Carefully form mixture into 8 balls, being careful not to compact too tightly.
I made these for a neighborhood get-together and people liked them, though not as much as the rocky road variation. I had some dried apple slices on-hand and so used these after crisping them up in a low oven. The syrup was of course very hot, which made shaping the balls difficult until the syrup had cooled to the point at which the popcorn wouldn't stick together. It was also difficult to coat all of the popcorn evenly, so I microwaved (and re-microwaved) the mixture and used a heatproof spatula to press it into 1-cup measures, then slightly re-shaped them into balls by hand. I liked the creativity and "seasonality" of the recipe, but I don't know that they'd be worth making again.
Eat Well. Lose Weight. Live Healthy. Delicious and healthy recipes customized for you!