Ann Pittman Ann Pittman
September 03, 2015

Anyone who grew up making popcorn balls will remember fondly the quick, hot work of shaping the sticky mixture into balls that would quickly set up. It's an old-fashioned treat that we're bringing back because they're a 100% whole-grain dessert. That's right—popcorn is a whole grain, and popcorn balls are an easy way to turn those grains into a sweet, healthy treat for the family.

White Chocolate-Cherry Popcorn BallsHands-on: 35 min Total: 45 min

1 tablespoon canola oil1/3 cup unpopped popcorn2/3 cup coarsely chopped dried cherries1/3 cup white chocolate chips1 cup sugar1/2 cup light-colored agave nectar1/4 cup water1 tablespoon butter1/2 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add popcorn; cover and cook 3 minutes or until kernels pop, shaking pan frequently. When popping slows down, remove pan from heat. Let stand 1 minute or until popping stops. Pour popcorn into a large bowl coated with cooking spray. Add cherries and white chocolate chips.

2. Combine sugar and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a medium, heavy saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until a candy thermometer registers 300º. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Immediately pour hot syrup over popcorn; toss well to coat. Cool slightly (about 1 to 2 minutes). Carefully form mixture into 8 balls, being careful not to compact too tightly.

SERVES 8 (serving size: 1 popcorn ball)CALORIES 309; FAT 6.2g (sat 3.4g, mono 1.5g, poly 0.6g); PROTEIN 1g; CARB 64g; FIBER 3g; CHOL 4mg; IRON 0mg; SODIUM 172mg; CALC 14mg

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