Pistachio and Cherry Popcorn Balls

Popcorn balls have always been one of my favorite holiday treats, and this recipe from the Wonderful Pistachios event I attended last week was wonderful.

Though this recipe calls for dried cherry, feel free to improvise, adding other dried fruits (or a mix of them!). Dark chocolate chips would also be lovely, as would a dash of almond extract, to bring out the nutty flavors.

You can serve these right away as a party snack, or package into individual bags with ribbons to give as holiday gifts or party favors.

Disclosure: This recipe was provided by Wonderful Pistachios as part of a sponsored collaboration. All opinions are strictly my own. Thank you for supporting great brands that make it possible for me to create fresh new content for you!

Pistachio and Cherry Popcorn Balls
Yields 20

12 cups popped popcorn
1 cup shelled Wonderful Pistachios, lightly chopped
1 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside a pair of latex kitchen gloves.

In a large roasting pan, combine popcorn, dried cherries, and pistachios, mixing until thoroughly combined.

In a medium saucepan, combine syrup, sugar, butter, and salt, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 2 minutes, then remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and baking soda. (it will bubble!)

Pour syrup mixture over popcorn and stir to coat well. Put on gloves and coat hands with cooking spray or oil. Then, working quickly, form balls with the warm popcorn mixture. Place on prepared pan and let cool to room temperature.

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