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 milk cartons or empty 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!
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Apricot Popcorn Cups
Prep time 10 minutes Makes about 10 cups
- 10 cups popped lightly salted popcorn (or 1 bag of microwave popcorn)
- 1 cup Sun-Maid California Dried Apricots, chopped
- 1/2 cup toasted almonds, chopped
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons apricot jam
- 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
MIX popcorn, apricots and almonds in a large bowl.
COMBINE butter, jam, brown sugar and cinnamon in a small (1 quart) saucepan. BOIL over medium heat about 3 minutes until syrupy and soft-ball stage, 234 to 240ºF on a candy thermometer. (Without a candy thermometer, test mixture by placing a droplet 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.
Makes about 10 cups.
NOTE: Adult supervision should be provided if children are working with hot sugar syrup.
Recipe from Sun-Maid Growers. Photo by Kelly Burgoyne.