Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Maple Popcorn Clusters

You can tell it is holiday time at my house.  I am going into overdrive making all sorts of sweets.  Last night, I made some Maple Popcorn Clusters.  These sweet treats are  clusters of popcorn, nuts, and dried cranberries covered in a cooked syrup.  The syrup has two types of syrup and two different sugars.

These Maple Popcorn Clusters make a great gift from your kitchen.  I get some holiday cellophane gift bags, put in the clusters, twist and tie with ribbon.  It is easy, quick, and inexpensive.



                                        Maple Popcorn Clusters

Ingredients:

4- quarts air popped popcorn unpopped kernels removed
1-1/3 cup granulated sugar
1- 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
½ cup dark corn syrup
½ cup pure maple syrup
½ cup water
½ cup butter
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1- cup pecan pieces
1- cup walnut pieces
1 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

1. Lay out several strips of waxed paper on a counter top for cooling the popcorn.
2. Spray lightly a large roasting pan.  Place popcorn in the roasting pan. Set aside.
3. Combine in a 3-quart heavy bottomed pot the granulated sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, maple syrup, water, butter and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring until the sugars melt. DO NOT STIR after the sugar melts.  Swirl the syrup 3 to 4 times as it cooks.    Cook the syrup until it reaches 295 degrees.   Have a bowl of ice water near the popcorn.
4.Remove the syrup from heat and stir in the baking soda.
5. Pour the syrup over the popcorn carefully.  THE SYRUP IS HOT.  If some gets on your hand, put your hand in the bowl of ice water.  Add the nuts and cranberries to the top of the popcorn.
6.Stir the popcorn mixture with a lightly greased spoon until the popcorn, nuts, and cranberries are coated.
7. Spread the popcorn out on the waxed paper with two forks.  Let it cool.
8.  Break the popcorn into clusters and store in an airtight container.



Popcorn in Roasting Pan

Syrup Ingredients

Cooling on Waxed Paper

Maple Pecan Clusters

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