Chocolate Pretzel & Cherry Popcorn Balls

3 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine September/October 2011

These popcorn balls are made with agave nectar and peanut butter and are spiked with chocolate covered pretzels and dried cherries for a special treat. Try making them for your Halloween party this year.

Ingredients 20 servings

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  • 6 heaping cups popped corn
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar (see Note) or honey
  • 1/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter or almond butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped dark chocolate-covered pretzels
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped dried cherries

Preparation

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  • Ready In

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Prepare a medium bowl of ice water.
  2. Put popcorn in a large bowl.
  3. Combine agave (or honey) and peanut butter (or almond butter) in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring gently but constantly. As soon as the mixture starts to lightly bubble, cook, stirring constantly, for 15 seconds more.
  4. Immediately pour the mixture evenly over the popcorn; gently mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until well coated. Gently stir in dark chocolate-covered pretzels and finely chopped dried cherries.
  5. Dip both hands in the ice water. Working quickly, press small handfuls (heaping 1/4 cup each) of the popcorn mixture firmly into 2-inch balls. (Make sure each ball gets a little bit of the pretzels and dried cherries.) Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet. If they seem too fragile, rinse hands with cold water and press and squeeze each ball again to help keep it together.
  6. Let cool completely before storing. To store, individually wrap in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Wrap airtight for up to 2 days, but best the day they are made.
  • Note: Agave syrup or nectar is the naturally sweet juice extracted from the agave plant. It has a lower glycemic index and is lower in calories than table sugar, but is even sweeter. Use it in moderation when substituting for table sugar. Look for it near other sweeteners in health food stores and well-stocked supermarkets.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 ball
  • Per serving: 91 calories; 3 g fat(1 g sat); 1 g fiber; 13 g carbohydrates; 2 g protein; 1 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 8 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 103 IU vitamin A; 0 mg vitamin C; 2 mg calcium; 0 mg iron; 31 mg sodium; 18 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1
  • Exchanges: 1 other carbohydrate, 1 fat

Reviews 3

December 26, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
These were good, not great. Be sure to eat them right away, as the popcorn gets soggy quickly. I made them at night to give as treats at work the next day, but the were already soft by then. I also found it very difficult to get the sugar mixture evenly mixed over all the popcorn.
November 26, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Amaze-balls Just made them tonight for my 5 yr old to take to school for his birthday tomorrow. We just used popcorn, all natural pb,and honey since we didn't have the other. They are amazing and additive! True test tomorrow, but I'm confident. Thanks for the recipe. Pros: Healthy, delicious
October 31, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
These did not stay together for me. These simply did not stay together for me. After trying in vain to smash the mix together to make balls, I ended up leaving the remaining popcorn mix loose and snacking on it that way. Too bad - the ingredients are delicious ad wonderful. I then went on to make the traditional popcorn balls where you cook the sugar mixture to the hard crack stage. Very sticky and that's what makes a popcorn ball.