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Author Notes: This compulsively addictive crunchy treat is great to give away--since that's basically the only way you'll avoid eating the entire salty-spicy batch yourself in one sitting. Thank heaven its sweetness comes from maple syrup and not sugar--between that, the pecans and the cranberries, you'll end up feeling less like a pusher!
Serves 1? 10?
- 8 cups plain popcorn, popped
- 1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 6 tablespoons salted butter (3/4 stick)
- 1 1/2 cups maple syrup (preferably grade B)
- 1 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Toss popcorn, pecans and cranberries together in a large bowl.
- Line a large cookie sheet with foil and lightly oil.
- Melt butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add maple syrup, salt and cayenne and boil (still over medium heat), without stirring, until thermometer registers 280°F, about 20 minutes.
- Pour over popcorn and stir immediately with a silicone spatula to coat. Then quickly spread mixture on cookie sheet in a single layer (if possible). Cool completely and break into bite-size pieces.
- To give away, package in tins, wax paper bags or cellophane bags.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Movie Snack
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Edible Gift