8 cups popped popcorn (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup unpopped)
Nonstick spray coating
1/2 cup broken pecans
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup instant butter pecan pudding mix
3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
Discard unpopped popcorn kernels. Spray a 17 x 12 x 2-inch roasting pan with nonstick coating. Place the popped corn and pecans in the pan. Keep popcorn warm in a 300 degrees F oven while making coating.
In a small saucepan melt the margarine or butter. Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in the corn syrup, pudding mix and vanilla extract. Pour syrup mixture over popcorn. With a large spoon, gently toss the popcorn with the syrup mixture to coat. Bake popcorn, uncovered, in a 300 degrees F oven for 16 minutes, stirring halfway through baking. Remove the pan from the oven. Turn mixture onto a large piece of foil. Cool popcorn completely.
When cool, break into large pieces. Store leftover popcorn, tightly covered, in a cool, dry place for up to 1 week.
Yields 9 (1-cup) servings.