Country Cousin Popcorn Balls
Makes 18 balls. Recipe is from The Popcorn Board.
2 cups sugar
2⁄3 cup apple juice or water
2⁄3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup butter
11/2 tsps. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
4 quarts warm popped popcorn
1 cup honey-roasted, unsalted or salted peanuts
1 (8-oz.) pkg. chopped dates
1. Combine sugar, juice or water, syrup, butter and salt in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove the sugar from the sides of the pan with a wet brush. Cook, without stirring, until mixture reaches 270 degrees — the soft-crack stage on a candy thermometer.
2. Add vanilla.
3. Combine popped popcorn, peanuts and dates. Pour the syrup over the popcorn and mix well. Wet or butter hands and shape into 3-inch balls.
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