Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Claire Spollen
Hands-on Time
35 Mins
Total Time
45 Mins
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.

How to Make It

Step 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.

Step 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.

Ratings & Reviews

Creative, but...

November 08, 2015
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.