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Celebrate Christmas:
Cranberry Popcorn Balls

Ingredients:

3 quarts of popped popcorn
1 1/2 cups water
1 t. whole cloves
1 t. whole allspice
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cup chopped frozen cranberries, thawed
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 T. light corn syrup
1 T. shredded orange peel
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
3 to 4 drops red food coloring.

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

2. Place popcorn in a large, 4-inch deep, buttered baking pan. Keep warm in oven.

3. Pour water into a large buttered saucepan. Securely tie cloves, allspice, and cinnamon in a piece of cheesecloth and place in water. Cover saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove spices from pan.

4. Stir in cranberries, sugar, corn syrup, orange peel, nutmeg, and food coloring. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved and mixture begins to boil. Continue cooking until mixture reaches 250 degrees F on a candy thermometer.

5. Remove popcorn from oven. Pour syrup mixture over popcorn and peanuts, stirring to mix well.

6. Form into balls.

Yield: approximately 8 popcorn balls.

Variation: Form each popcorn ball around a chocolate-covered malted-milk ball.

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