I LOVE popcorn. There is no better snack.
Ya know what else I love? Chocolate & peanut butter. Combine all that to come up with this tastiness:
I threw in some pretzels, Oreos, and m&ms too. You can use whatever you have! Peanuts, rolos, reese pieces, even potato chips would taste good in here.
I started with air-popped popcorn. Bought myself a popcorn machine in college and now I use it almost every day. The fresh, ait-popped popcorn tastes way better that the microwavable stuff. It’s fluffier, fresher, and has a better, crisper crunch. Highly recommend.
So, you pop your corn.
Then, you melt together light corn syrup, light brown sugar, salt, and butter (I actually used Brummel & Brown yogurt buttery spread). Once that comes to a boil, you add in your peanut butter and vanilla extract.
Drizzle that over your popcorn (and pretzels if you’re using them), and then bake it in the oven for about an hour, maybe a little less. Yep, low ‘n’ slow.
Once out of the oven, mix it with chocolate chips and whatever other candy-like mix-ins you’re using (i.e. m&ms, Reese’s pieces, Hershey’s kisses, etc, Butterfingers, etc)
YUMMMM! Really, it’s one of my favorite munchies. Snack? Dessert? Movie-watching essential? Super bowl munchy? The answer…is yes.
Make it! Here are the specifics:
Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn:
Makes about 12 cups
1/2 cup popcorn kernels, air-popped
1 cup pretzels (or other crunchy mix-in, such as potato chips) (optional)
1 cup crushed Oreos (optional)
2/3 cup light corn syrup
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 Tablespoons butter (I used Brummel & Brown’s buttery yogurt spread)
1/2 cup peanut butter (I always add in an extra dollop)
1 tsp vanilla extract
About 2 cups chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips this time. I’ve also used 1/2 dark chocolate 1/2 milk chocolate)
Additional candy mix-ins (M&Ms, Reese’s pieces, rolos, etc) (optional)
1) Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
2) Pop the popcorn into a large bowl. Add the pretzels and Oreos into that bowl. Set aside.
3) In a heavy-bottomed saucepan on the stove, melt together the light corn syrup, light brown sugar, salt, and butter. Whisk constantly and continuing heating until the mixture boils. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add in the peanut butter and the vanilla. Whisk until the peanut butter is fully melted.
4). Drizzle the peanut butter mixture over the popcorn. Use a rubber spatula to stir everything together. Once the popcorn is all evenly coated, spread it onto the two lined baking sheets.
5) Bake the popcorn in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour. Stir it every 15 minutes. I usually find it’s ready to come out after 45 minutes. That said, the longer you bake it, the more crunchy/crispy it will be. I like it when some of the pieces are a tad less-crunchy, so that’s probably why I like it cooked a little less than the full hour.
6) While the popcorn is baking, pour half of the chocolate chips into that same large bowl that you used for stirring together the popcorn and peanut butter mixture.
7) When the popcorn is done baking, remove it from the oven and carefully scoop it all back into that large bowl with the chocolate chips. Pour the remaining chocolate chips into the popcorn, along with any other candy you are adding. Use the rubber spatula to stir everything together. The chocolate should get melty.
8) Now, dump the mixture back onto those baking sheets that you were using. Allow the popcorn to cool completely. Then, either store in an air-tight container, or serve!
9) Pssst. Per usual, I suggest snagging a bite while it’s still warm. Deliciously gooey chocolaty peanut buttery…mmmm.
It’s really one of my favorite salty-sweet snacks, if not my absolute favorite!
Let me know what you try mixing in!