Low Fat Caramel Popcorn Balls

Cooking spray, butter or regular
3 – two serving bags of 94% fat free microwave popcorn any variety or 1 cup un-popped popcorn
1 ¼ cups packed dark brown sugar
1 cup white corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter flavoring such as Molly Mc Butter or Butter Buds
1- 15-oz can fat free sweetened condensed milk
½ teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Spray a large 1 to 2-gallon glass or stainless steal bowl or container with cooking spray and set aside. Spray a large spatula or wooden spoon lightly with cooking spray and set aside. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and set aside.

Pop popcorn according to package directions. Remove any un-popped kernels and transfer popped corn to prepared bowl or container and place in oven to keep warm.

In medium sauce pan combine sugar with corn syrup and butter flavoring. Stir well and bring to gentle boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, stir in condensed milk and simmer/gentle boil stirring constantly for 10 to 12 minutes or until mixture starts to pull away from sides of pan. The temperature of the mixture should be between 200 and 220 F. Stir in vanilla and remove from heat.

Pour caramel over popped corn and stir to coat evenly using prepared spatula or wooden spoon. Spray hands lightly with cooking spray and gently, using as little pressure as possible shape popcorn into 3-1/2 inch balls, approximately 2 to 2 ½ ounces caramel corn mixture. Place balls on baking sheet covered with wax paper until cooled and firm.

Yield: 18 popcorn balls each at approximately 175 calories; 0.7 gram total fat; 0 saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 44.5 grams total carbohydrate; 1.3 grams dietary fiber; 1.5 grams protein; 157 milligrams sodium.

Compare with traditional recipe at 220 calories and 8 grams total fat per popcorn ball.