Monday, October 1 2012, 04:20 PM MDT
Caramel Apple Popcorn Balls
As Aired On September 22, 2012
Recipe Courtesy Of Lindsey Johnson, utah.todaysmama.com
2/3 cup popcorn kernels (or 3-4 bags microwave popcorn)
2-4 Tbsp. canola oil (leave out if using an air popper)
4 cups fresh apple cider
2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup corn syrup
3/4 tsp. salt (leave out if using microwave popcorn)
melted white chocolate, for drizzling (optional)
extra butter, for your hands
1. Pop the popcorn by heating the oil in the bottom of a large, stockpot (6 quart works great.) Turn the heat to high and add the popcorn kernels and stir with a wooden spoon until they start to sizzle.
2. Put the lid on and frequently pick up the pan (with hot pads) and shake as the kernels pop. When the popping slows, remove from heat and immediately pour into a very big bowl. Set aside while you prepare the caramel.
3. In a small saucepan, bring the apple cider to a boil. Lower the heat and cook until the cider is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 40 minutes. Check after 30 minutes. Pour into a glass measuring cup to see if it's reduced enough. When it's completely reduced to 1/2 cup, it will be a bit syrupy. Pour it into a larger, 3-4 quart pan with a tight-fitting lid, and add the brown sugar, cream, butter, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil.
4. Lower the heat to medium and cover tightly with a lid. Cook for 3 minutes without removing the lid. Remove the lid, being careful not to drop any water back into the pot. Clip a candy thermometer to the inside of the pan and cook until soft ball stage (236 degrees F to 238 degrees F.) Add the vanilla after the caramel comes to the correct temperature. It will bubble up and splatter, so be careful! Stir and pour over the popcorn, stirring with a large wooden spoon.
5. Using buttered hands, form into balls and add a stick for easier eating.
*Tip: drizzle with white chocolate for a special treat.
(Copyright 2012 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)