1/1 Photo of Sweet & Spicy Popcorn Crunch or Balls
I actually combined two recipes I had seen and wanted to try. This is a joint effort of a Martha Stewart Recipe and a Food Network Recipe - that I mixed together. It turned out VERY good!
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Units: US | Metric
- 2 (3 1/2 ounce) bags natural microwave popcorn (minus any unpopped kernels)
- 1 cup pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds) (optional) or 1 cup salted peanuts or 1 cup pecan halves (optional)
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for forming (when making popcorn balls)
- 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1Preheat oven to 250°F Line 2 baking sheets with nonstick baking mats; set aside.
- 2Pop popcorn according to package directions, get rid of unpopped kernels; set aside.
- 3Make caramel: Combine butter, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until sugar has dissolved. Increase heat to medium-high, and cook, without stirring, until golden brown, about 5 minutes, swirling pot occasionally.
- 4Remove mixture from heat and quickly stir in salt, vanilla, cinnamon & cayenne with a heatproof spatula or spoon. Immediately pour over popcorn mixture and stir to incorporate. Divide popcorn mixture evenly between baking sheets. Transfer to oven and bake, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- 5Let cool on sheet pans before breaking apart into clusters. Store popcorn in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
- 6*Note: If you opt for the ‘pepitas’ the pumpkin seeds instead of nuts (use one or the other not both) ~ you will need to toast the pumpkin seeds in a large skillet over medium-high heat, until browned and popping, tossing and stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. (Do this in batches, if needed.) Then, add to the popcorn.
- 7*If making popcorn balls, use following directions: When the popcorn is cool enough to handle, coat your hands with some butter and shape into 4-inch balls. Wrap in waxed paper and tie with a string, if desired. Serve or store covered at room temperature for up to a week.
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Nutritional Facts for Sweet & Spicy Popcorn Crunch or Balls
Serving Size: 1 (80 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 6
- Amount Per Serving
- % Daily Value
- Calories 386.9
- Calories from Fat 169
- Total Fat 18.8 g
- Saturated Fat 11.1 g
- Cholesterol 45.7 mg
- Sodium 169.2 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 53.5 g
- Dietary Fiber 4.9 g
- Sugars 20.8 g
- Protein 4.4 g