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 cup sugar
1/2 cup light-colored agave nectar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mini marshmallows
2/3 cup chocolate chips
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.
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. Add mini marshmallows and chocolate chips to popcorn. Immediately pour hot syrup over popcorn mixture; 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 to take to a Halloween get-together, and our neighbor declared them "the bomb"...I made enough popcorn for these and the cinnamon-apple recipe, and after dividing it the chocolate coating seemed a bit meager (at least not like the picture); but they were still very good. I had some homemade marshmallow creme on hand and so used this instead of the sugar syrup, as well as some homemade mini-marshmallows. We're not huge popcorn ball fans so I doubt I'd make these again, but they are a nice change from the candy corn balls from several years ago.
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