How to Make It
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.
Combine sugar and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a medium, heavy saucepan coated with cooking spray. Cook over medium-high heat until a candy thermometer registers 275°F. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Add pecans to popcorn. Immediately pour hot syrup over popcorn; toss well to coat using a silicone spatula coated with cooking spray. Cool slightly (about 1 to 2 minutes). Carefully form mixture into 12 balls, being careful not to compact too tightly; place a skewer into each ball, if desired.
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Also appeared in: Oxmoor House, March, 2016,Everyday Whole Grains: 175 Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice