Recipe: chewy popcorn balls

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Recipe: chewy popcorn balls

Chewy Popcorn Balls
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon mace
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 quarts crisp salted popped corn
1 1/2 cups chopped mixed nuts

Combine sugar, corn syrup, salt, spices, butter and water in saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Wash crystals from side of pan. Cook over medium heat to 245 degrees F (firm ball stage) on candy thermometer. Remove from heat; stir in extracts. Pour slowly over mixture of popped corn and nuts, stirring to mix well. Shape into balls with buttered hands. Makes about 2 dozen (2-inch) diameter balls.

Holiday Popcorn Balls
In the above recipe, add 1/2 cup minced candied cherries (mixture of red and green) to popped corn and nuts. Pour hot syrup over this mixture and proceed as directed.

Crunchy Popcorn Balls
In recipe for Chewy Popcorn Balls use only 2 quarts popped corn instead of 3 quarts; make syrup following directions, cooking to 290 degrees F (hard crack stage) on candy thermometer. Pour over popped corn and nuts. Shape into balls if desired, or spread in thin layer on aluminum foil. When cool, break into small pieces.