You are here: Home » Recipes » Maple Pecan Popcorn Balls Maple Pecan Popcorn Balls Kitchen Tested Yield 18 pieces Prep 10 mins Cook 15 mins Classic popcorn balls with a flavorful twist make a perfect after-school snack for pint-sizers. Mark Boughton/styling: Teresa Blackburn PrintEmail "Light" corn syrup doesn't refer to its calories; it's a reference to its color -- and its mild flavor. Here, it keeps the sugar from crystallizing in these chewy popcorn balls, spiked with maple for a fall treat. Have everything ready before you start as you need to work quickly. Ingredients 4 quarts (16 cups) freshly popped popcorn (made from about 2/3 cup popcorn kernels and 3 tablespoons canola oil -- work in batches if necessary)2 cups granulated sugar2/3 cup water1/4 cup light corn syrup1/4 cup maple syrup (do not use imitation maple syrup)8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), plus additional for greasing2 teaspoons salt1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar1 cup chopped toasted pecans Instructions Lightly butter the inside of a large bowl. Pour warm popcorn into buttered bowl. Mix sugar, water, corn syrup, maple syrup, butter, salt and cream of tartar in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil, stirring often. Attach candy thermometer to the inside of the pan. Continue heating undisturbed until temperature reaches 268F (hard-ball stage), about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove pan from the heat; stir in nuts. Slowly drizzle sugar mixture over popcorn, tossing gently with a spatula. Working quickly and wearing rubber gloves that you’ve buttered, gather about 1/2 cup of the coated popcorn together at a time, and form into balls without compacting too tightly. Recipe by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough.