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Popcorn balls are fun to eat but can be tricky to shape when working with hot sugar syrup. So keep it simple and make this popcorn snack mix! Yummy butter, brown sugar and apricot jam masquerade for the typical corn syrup in popcorn balls. Toasted almonds and dried apricots sneak in an extra flavor surprise. For crafty dishware use halloween napkins or fabric to cover small empty milk cartons or food containers. Kids can wrap the containers then tie or glue in place – it’ll keep those ghouls and boys busy while awaiting trick-or-treat time!
Scary-Simple Popcorn Mix
- 10 cups popped popcorn, lightly salted, about 1/2 unpopped kernels Or, one pkg microwave popcorn, popped
- 1 cup dried apricots, chopped about 4 ounces
- 1/2 cup toasted almonds, chopped
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp apricot jam or other fruit jam or jelly
- 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- MIX popcorn, apricots and almonds in a large bowl.
- COMBINE butter, jam, brown sugar and cinnamon in a small (1 quart) saucepan, or 2 cup microwave safe bowl..
- BOIL over medium heat, or microwave on high, stirring frequently for about 3 minutes until syrupy and soft-ball stage, 234 to 240ºF on a candy thermometer. (The soft-ball temperature is not super critical to tasty results but will make a crisper coating. Just be sure it comes to a good boil. To test without a candy thermometer, put a droplet of the hot mixture in a dish of ice water. At soft-ball stage the droplet will form a soft ball that flattens when pinched between fingers.)
- DRIZZLE sugar syrup over popcorn and fruit mixture, stirring quickly until evenly coated and cool. Serve the same day to retain crispness, or place in a sealed plastic bag for up to 1 day.
Recipe adapted from Sun-Maid Growers. Photo by www.kellyburgoyne.com