Recipe: Mexican Caramel Popcorn Balls

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Reprinted with permission from My Sweet Mexico: Recipes for Authentic Pastries, Breads, Candies, Beverages, and Frozen Treats by Fany Gerson, copyright © 2010. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.

Makes 10 to 15

    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
    • 1 cup chopped piloncillo or firmly packed dark brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup honey
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Grease a baking sheet or line it with a nonstick mat. Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat and add the kernels. Cover the pot and cook, shaking the pot lightly, until all the corn is popped, about five minutes. Pour into a stainless steel bowl.

Combine the butter, piloncillo, and honey in a medium-large pot with a candy thermometer clipped onto the side and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it boils, then continue to cook, stirring only occasionally and making sure it doesn't stick, until it reaches the hard-crack stage (300 F). Add the salt and baking soda, stirring rapidly and carefully. Immediately pour the caramel onto the popcorn. Toss quickly to coat and pour onto the prepared baking sheet. Use lightly oiled spoons or gloves to form the balls while the caramel is still warm. Allow to cool, then enjoy. These are best eaten the day they are made.

To read Sarah's article about My Sweet Mexico, click here.

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