We whipped these up for the nieces & nephews as a healthy treat!
YIELD: 40 small popcorn balls or 20 large ones
10 cups stove-popped popcorn (from a generous 1/4 cup kernels)
2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup natural peanut butter, creamy or chunky
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional
1 cup old fashioned oats or crunchy whole grain cereal
1/2 cup chopped dried cherries or dried fruit of your choice
2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as grapeseed or refined canola oil. 1/4 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
Add the oil and popcorn kernels to a heavy 3- to 4-quart saucepan with a lid. Shake the pan to coat the kernels with oil. The kernels should cover the bottom of the pan in a single layer.
Cover the pan and place it over medium high heat, shaking the pan occasionally untiil you begin to hear popping.
When the corn begins to pop, lift it slightly from the heat and shake the pan continually, holding the lid in place, until the popping begins to slow, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat. Leave the lid on for 1 minute — some kernels will continue to pop. When the popping stops, pour the popcorn into a large bowl.
Line a baking sheet with wax paper and set aside.
Put the popcorn into a large mixing bowl.
In a heavy, medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the honey, peanut butter, and salt. Stir frequently until it comes to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 1 minute.
Pour the honey mixture over the popcorn and stir with a silicone spatula. When it’s nearly coated, sprinkle the oats/cereal and dried fruit over the mixture and stir until combined.
Let the popcorn sit until cool enough to handle, then use lightly greased hands to press firmly into balls. Place balls on paper-lined baking sheet to cool completely.
Store at room temperature in an air-tight container for up to a week or wrap them individually!