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Candied Apple Popcorn Balls

Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Claire Spollen

Hands-on time 35 mins
Total time 45 mins
Yield

Serves 8 (serving size: 1 popcorn ball)

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.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/3 cup unpopped popcorn
  • Cooking spray
  • 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

Nutrition Information

  • calories 229
  • fat 3.5 g
  • satfat 1 g
  • monofat 1.5 g
  • polyfat 0.6 g
  • protein 1 g
  • carbohydrate 49 g
  • fiber 2 g
  • cholesterol 4 mg
  • iron 0.0 mg
  • sodium 174 mg
  • calcium 1 mg

How to Make It

  1. 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.

  2. 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.