|1 bag||popped JOLLY TIME® Blast O Butter® or Butter Microwave Pop Corn|
|2 cups||thin pretzel sticks broken into 1/2 inch pieces|
|14 oz (48 pieces)||unwrapped caramels|
|72||whole thin pretzel sticks|
|1 cup||semisweet chocolate chips|
|optional||butter or margarine for hands|
Line 3 large cookie sheets with waxed paper; set aside. Spray inside of large mixing bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Pop popcorn according to package directions. Open bag carefully and pour into bowl; discard unpopped kernels. Add broken pretzels to bowl with popcorn; stir well. In large microwave-safe bowl, microwave caramels and water, uncovered, on HIGH (100% power) for 2-1/2 to 3 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring every minute. Pour over popcorn and pretzels; stir until evenly coated. Let stand 5 minutes. With buttered hands, shape popcorn mixture into 1-1/4-inch diameter balls around whole pretzel sticks, pressing firmly and leaving bottom half of pretzel sticks extending beyond popcorn ball to form "handles." Place on cookie sheets. Let popcorn balls stand until firm, about 15 minutes. Melt chocolate chips according to package directions. Let cool 2 minutes; pour into a sandwich-size resealable plastic food storage bag. Squeeze out air; seal. Cut off a small corner of bag. Holding by pretzel stick "handles," squeeze chocolate decoratively over popcorn balls. Return to cookie sheet. Let stand until chocolate is set, 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Store in tightly sealed container. Helpful Hint: Break pretzels into 1/2-inch pieces before measuring.