Peanut Butter Cup Popcorn

I needed a treat like this Peanut Butter Cup Popcorn today. Its been one of those mornings, the kind where my brain forgot to get out of bed. The kind where I absent mindedly poured the corn syrup over the popcorn instead of into the saucepan. The kind where I mixed the peanut butter in with the sugars before melting them together. The kind where I started making this popcorn three times before getting it right, and that’s not counting the night before when I attempted to make it with an entirely different sort of recipe. Once I harnessed my brain power and actually slowed down to make it the way I had planned in this space cadet brain of mine, it was well worth it. The flavors compliment each other so well, and I love the way the peanut butter cups semi-melt adding that little extra touch of chocolate. Make sure you freeze them first though or I am sure they would melt completely away, but that might just be ok too. Another thought would be to add peanuts to the mix. I think either honey roasted or plain old peanuts would be delish, but my family has this thing with peanuts thinking they should stand alone. Poor sad lonely peanuts. I love the drizzle, but you could always leave it out. In fact, you could leave the candy and the drizzle out and just have peanut butter popcorn. Don’t be afraid to make it your own.  Did you know that National Popcorn Day was celebrated a few days ago, January 19th? I know I am a few days late, but all things considered, I’m just happy I got to share this with you today.

Peanut Butter Cup Popcorn
  1. 1 (8 oz.) bag mini peanut butter cups, frozen (measures about 1 1/2 cups)
  2. 4 quarts popped popcorn (@ 2/3 cup unpopped)
  3. 1 1/2 cups peanuts, honey roasted or plain, your choice and completely optional
  4. 1 1/8 cup light corn syrup
  5. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  6. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  7. 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  8. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  9. 1 cup peanut butter
  10. 1/3 - 1/2 cup chocolate chips, depending on how much chocolate drizzle you want
  1. Make sure to pop your peanut butter cups in the freezer so they are nice and frosty and won't completely melt away. When frozen, spread some waxed paper over your table and spray with cooking spray. Pop your corn. Pick out any kernels and place in a large bowl. Add peanuts if you are using them. I find a roaster works when I'm in an pinch. Melt corn syrup, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent burning. When the mixture is smooth turn off the heat and stir in vanilla. Add peanut butter stirring until smooth and creamy. Pour over popped corn and gently stir some more. You will want to add your frozen peanut butter cups before the mixture has cooled so they incorporate into the mixture, but after it has cooled enough that they won't completely melt. I stir the mixture until things are mixed pretty well and then add my candy and continue stirring until everything is well coated. Pour the popcorn mixture onto your prepared waxed paper. Spread it out pretty thin so the drizzle will have more area to cover. Melt your chocolate chips in the microwave - 20 second intervals, using your fingers to mush the chocolate around in the bag in between each, cut a small corner off and drizzle over popcorn. Let set and enjoy. Sometimes I spread the popped corn over the top of cookie sheets so I can place it in the fridge to quicken the setting. Another alternative is to press the mixture into a sprayed 9x13 pan before drizzling so you can cut them into bars. We enjoy it both ways. I am thinking you could even add a peanut butter chip drizzle if you wanted to go crazy. Maybe next time we will try it double drizzled!
Jasey's Crazy Daisy
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