Joy Magazine

America's Favorite Pop Star!

Looking for a kicked up taste to one of everyone's favorite evening snacks? Don't forget the popcorn! And oh yeah, a whole bunch of wonderful things mixed in!

White Chocolate Popcorn Crunch

5 cups freshly popped popcorn

1/2 cup dried, sweetened cranberries

1/2 cup sliced almonds

12 ounces white chocolate baking chips, chopped white

chocolate or white candy coating

1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

Cover a baking pan with foil or wax paper; set aside. Place popped popcorn, cranberries and almonds in a large bowl; set aside. Melt chocolate in a double boiler over barely simmering water, stirring until smooth OR melt according to package directions. (If chocolate is not smooth after melting, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons shortening until mixture is smooth and loose enough to coat popcorn). Pour chocolate mixture over popcorn mixture and stir to coat. Spread onto prepared pan; allow to cool completely. When chocolate is cooled and set, break into chunks for serving. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Yield: about 1 pound

Caramel Almond Popcorn Clusters

10 cups freshly popped popcorn

2 cups whole almonds

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1/4 cup light corn syrup

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 225 degrees F. Spray a 15 x 10 baking sheet with non-stick spray. Mix popcorn and almonds in large bowl. Combine brown sugar, butter and corn syrup in medium saucepan. Over low heat, stir mixture until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and boil 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla, almond extract and baking soda. Pour over popcorn and almonds, immediately stirring gently to coat. Pour mixture onto prepared baking sheet, spreading evenly. Bake for 1 hour in preheated oven. Cool completely, then break into pieces to serve. Store in an airtight container.

Yield: 20 pieces

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