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 When the weather is warm and it’s time for a sweet treat, look for seasonal goodies that complement summertime fun. For example, reach for an option like whole-grain, fluffy and crisp popcorn which can be an easy, DIY snack.

Combine sweet and salty flavors to create something delicious to devour like Coconut Popcorn Crunch Pie or delightful Down Home Apple Pie Popcorn.

To better serve a crowd, try these Perfect Picnic Popcorn Squares, Popcorn S’mores or Key Lime Popcorn Clusters at your next family pool party or summertime barbecue with friends. For more creative, DIY popcorn recipe ideas, visit popcorn.org.

Down Home Apple Pie Popcorn

            3          T. melted butter

            1          t. vanilla extract

            2          T. brown sugar

            1          t. ground cinnamon

            1/8       t. ground allspice

            1/8       t. ground nutmeg

            8          c. popped popcorn

            1          c. dried apple chips, broken into large pieces

            1/4       c. toffee bits

Heat oven to 300 F. Whisk melted butter with vanilla. Toss brown sugar with cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg.

Toss popcorn with butter mixture. Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar mixture. Stir. Transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Sprinkle apple chips and toffee bits over top. Bake 15 minutes, or until toffee bits start to melt. Cool before serving. Yield: 10 cups

Tip: Add chopped pecans for extra crunch.

Key Lime Popcorn Clusters

            8          c. popped popcorn

            4          whole graham crackers, finely chopped, divided

            1          jar (7 1/2 oz) marshmallow creme

            1/4       c. butter or margarine

            2          T. grated lime peel

            1          T. key lime juice

Line 9-inch square pan with foil. In large bowl, combine popcorn and all but 2 tablespoons graham cracker pieces. In large glass bowl, microwave marshmallow creme and butter on high 1 minute. Stir until butter is melted. Stir in lime peel and lime juice.

Pour marshmallow mixture over popcorn, mixing thoroughly. Using damp hand, firmly press mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle with reserved graham cracker pieces.

Refrigerate 2 hours until firm. Lift foil from pan. Break popcorn mixture into clusters. Yield: about 32 clusters

Coconut-Popcorn Crunch Pie

            2          qts popped popcorn, unsalted

            1          can (4 oz) flaked coconut, toasted

            1          c. sugar

            1          c. light corn syrup

            1/2       c. butter or margarine

            1/4       c. water

            2          t. salt

            1          t. vanilla

            1          qt vanilla, spumoni or butter pecan ice cream

                        fresh fruit or chocolate sauce for topping (optional)

In large, buttered bowl, mix popcorn and coconut. In saucepan, combine sugar, syrup, butter, water and salt. Bring to boil over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Continue cooking until syrup reaches hard crack stage (290-295 F).

Stir in vanilla. Pour syrup in fine stream over popcorn mixture; stir until particles are evenly coated with syrup.

On buttered, 12-inch pizza pan, spread half of popcorn mixture in thin layer, covering bottom of pan. Mark off into wedge-shaped servings; set aside. Repeat using remaining popcorn mixture; cool.

Cover one layer with ice cream; top with second popcorn layer. Store in freezer. To serve, cut in wedges. Serve with fruit or chocolate sauce, if desired. Yield: 12 servings

Perfect Picnic Popcorn Squares

            1          c. light corn syrup

            1/2       c. sugar

            1/2       c. brown sugar

            1          c. reduced-fat peanut butter

            3/4       c. raisins

            8          c. air-popped popcorn

                        nonstick cooking spray

In large saucepan, combine corn syrup, sugar, brown sugar and peanut butter. Bring to boil over low heat, stirring constantly; boil 2-3 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat.

In large bowl, combine raisins and popcorn; pour hot mixture over popcorn and toss carefully with wooden spoons until well-coated.

Spray 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray; press popcorn mixture into pan and cool completely. Cut into squares and serve. Yield: 12 squares

Popcorn S’mores

            1          c. firmly packed light brown sugar

            1/2       c. (1 stick) butter or margarine

            1/2       c. corn syrup

            1/2       t. baking soda

            10        c. freshly popped popcorn

            1          pkg (10 1/2 oz) miniature marshmallows

            2          c. mini graham cookies

            1          c. chocolate chips

In medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter and corn syrup. Cook over high heat 5 minutes; remove from heat and stir in baking soda.

In large bowl, combine popcorn and marshmallows. Pour sugar mixture over popcorn to coat. Gently stir in graham cookies and chocolate chips. Spread mixture evenly into greased 15-by-10-inch pan. Let cool completely. Break into pieces. Yield: 20 pieces

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