Oh my mercy. This stuff is good. Man, it's good.
The popcorn is sweet and buttery with the most deliciously spiced caramel and dried fruit, yet salty and crunchy...
I may need a moment.
Grab a paper bag of this and sit out on the back porch while the kids play. Or pack it up for the football game this weekend. Or cuddle up on the couch with your sweetie and share a bowl in front of a movie.
Life doesn't get much better than that.
3 quarts popped popcorn, picked free of unpopped kernels*
1 cup dried apples, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/2 cup dried, sweetened cranberries
1/2 cup almonds, sliced
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
3-1/2 T. corn syrup
1/4 t. salt
1-1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. allspice
1/4 t. baking soda
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Coat bottom and sides of a large roasting pan with cooking spray. Place popped corn in roasting pan and stir in fruit and almonds. Set aside.
In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt. Heat to a boiling on medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
Continue to boil to the firm ball stage (248 degrees F). Remove from heat; stir in spices and baking soda. Pour hot caramel mixture over popcorn, mixing well.
Bake 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven; cool completely. Break apart and store in air-tight container.
Makes about 3 quarts.
*Note: 3 quarts popped corn = a little under two 3.5 oz. bags of microwave popcorn or 6 T. kernels