Monday, September 24, 2012

Popcorn Balls

As promised, I took some time this weekend to hunt around and find some new recipes to share.  Of course I need some new dinner options but the top of my list was to find some homemade after school snacks for the kids.  They come home extremely hungry and beyond the normal fruit, cheese and crackers, I have not had much around for them.

I had picked up the September issue of Cooking Light as one of my resources and came across a recipe called "Popcorn Balls" with a stamp of "kid-friendly" on it.  That was good enough for me!

I made them over the weekend and the first two words that pop into my mind are TASTY and EASY.  My boys loved them (sorry Baby Girl, no popcorn for you) and asked if they could have them every day after school.  They are made similar to rice krispy treats but I love the variation of pretzels, peanuts and popcorn.  And really, anything covered in marshmallow is good.  I added a stick to each one to create little lollipops and this made it much easier for the boys to eat.  This is definitely a recipe I will be making again.

Popcorn Balls
Cooking Light, September 2012
page 32

1 tablespoon canola oil
3 tablespoons unpopped popcorn kernels
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups mini marshmallows
1 cup honey-nut toasted oat cereal
1 ounce pretzel sticks, broken into pieces
1/4 cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts, salted

1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add kernels; cover and cook 4 minutes, shaking pan frequently.  When popping slows, remove pan from heat.  Let stand.
2. Melt butter in a pan over low heat.  Add marshmallows; cook 2 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add 3 cups popcorn and remaining ingredients; stir.  Cool 2 minutes.  Form into 10, 3 inch balls.  Cool 5 minutes.

For another kid-friendly snack, these granola bars are a hit too!


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