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Candied Bacon Popcorn Balls

Ditch the candy bars and make this easy old-fashioned snack to hand out at Halloween. Crisp nuggets of candied bacon add a sweet-salty hit to every bite. The candy syrup hardens as it cools, so be prepared to work quickly when shaping the balls.



  1. Combine the popcorn and chopped bacon in a large bowl. Set aside. 
  2. Combine the brown sugar, maple syrup and water in a heavy saucepan; clip a candy thermometer to the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, swirling the pan occasionally, and boil it until it reaches 250°F on the thermometer. 
  3. When it does, remove from the heat and stir in the butter and pumpkin pie spice. Immediately pour the mixture over the popcorn and bacon and stir quickly with a rubber spatula to combine thoroughly. 
  4. As soon as it is just cool enough to handle, quickly gather up handfuls of the mixture and roll into 3-inch balls. Arrange on a sheet of wax paper to cool completely. 
  5. The popcorn balls can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored in an airtight container.