For a crunchy snack that suits the season, try this one. I've been stirring up batches of the distinctive brittle since 1975. With popcorn, almonds and candied cherries tossed together in a sweet crisp coating, it's a festive favorite we enjoy every year.
- 6 cups popped popcorn
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup each red and green candied cherries, chopped
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan, combine the popcorn, almonds and cherries. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Turn oven off and keep mixture warm in the oven.
- Meanwhile, in a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, water and salt; cook and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Cook over medium heat, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 305°-310° (hard-crack stage).
- Remove from the heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Immediately pour over popcorn mixture; toss gently. Spread onto a greased baking sheet. When cool, break into small pieces. Yield: about 1-1/2 pounds.
Originally published as Popcorn Almond Brittle in Country Woman Christmas Annual 1998, p37
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