So with it being Fall and all, I feel like we’re getting into ‘watching movies at home on the couch’ season. Yes?
My family did it the other night- it was a teacher’s workday the next day, meaning we weren’t (as) stressed about bedtime, so we ate dinner in the living room with a movie, and I snuck away to make them something special for afterwards. They had been asking for popcorn all day, so with that in mind, I twisted up something ooey and gooey and fun for them. I had zero idea what exactly I was doing, but luckily it turned out pretty damn fantastic.
Chocolate… Peanut butter… salt… nuts… popcorn…
I mean. If you like that sort of thing. And really, who doesn’t? It’s such an easy WIN in the dessert category for a cook, I almost feel bad about posting it. But then I remember how awesome it is and I feel better. You can please just about any crowd by serving a chocolate and peanut butter something. Anything. And this recipe doesn’t even take that much effort! But it’s suuuuch a crowd pleaser.
So there are two ways to eat this. One- right after you mix it all together and it’s all goopy and sticky and messy and you’re licking the spatula as you go and you’re covered in it before you even begin. Or Two- wait for it to cool and firm up (waiting is the hardest part) and eat it once it becomes more crunchy. As much as I hate to say it because I’m an inpatient Nelly (is that a thing?)- Option Number Two kinda rocks. But my kids ate it goopy and all I heard was yummy silence. And I may have gone goopy as well.
It’s like the best candy bar you could imagine, this stuff- just in clump form. Because of the peanut butter, it never hardens completely like a caramel popcorn does, but it does firm up a bit. And once it cools, you just break it apart like a (softer) brittle or granola. It’s sweet, salty, rich, and utterly addictive. I couldn’t keep my paws out of the pan when I was supposed to be spreading it out.
I think there is still chocolate and peanut butter stuck under my finger nails.
Not that I’m complaining about that. (Chocolate-peanut butter anything…)
It’s the perfect semi-quick but very easy treat to make now that the weather is getting cool, when you wanna snuggle on the couch and mindlessly eat something super fantastic. And it’s a great thing to make for any Halloween parties you may be throwing this year. You can even roll them into balls before they cool for something a little better formed, but I kinda like the messy clumpiness of it all. You can also wrap some in cellophane, tie with a bow and give as gifts… Just maybe include a napkin.
Oooh… Can we invent a chocolate peanut butter napkin?
C H O C O L A T E – P E A N U T B U T T E R
C A N D I E D P O P C O R N
First pop your popcorn-
You can either do this on the stove top, in brown paper bags in the microwave, or any way you prefer to pop your popcorn at home. You will need 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels and a couple splashes of canola or olive oil either way. I had to do the brown paper bag method because my stove was broken on this night. So I poured 1/4 cup kernels into 2 brown paper ‘lunch’ bags (1/4 cup in each bag to equal the 1/2 cup total needed) and added a splash of olive oil into each, shook the bag up, folded it over and microwaved them for about 3-4 minutes, or until the popping stopped.
Pour your popcorn (discard any unpopped kernels) into a greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Set aside.
5 cups mini marshmallows
6 TB unsalted butter
I had to do this in the microwave (oven broken, remember?), but the stovetop would be fine. Heat until everything is melted together.
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt + pinch
1/2 cup peanut butter (we’re a natural PB family)
You shouldn’t need to reheat this mixture, but do so if needed- you just want a fully mixed, thick liquid.
Pour this over the popcorn and toss with a spatula to coat. I like some popcorn pieces to be partially coated and others fully coated, as I think the color combination is pretty that way.
Sprinkle over 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1/2 cup salted peanuts (I prefer the lightly salted, and almonds or cashews or a mixture of nuts works just as well). Stir gently stir to combine. Some of the chocolate will melt immediately and some may not, and again I prefer there to be a textural and color difference so keep that in mind when you’re stirring.
Spread evenly in the pan and allow to cool before breaking apart and serving.
OR just dive right in and get chocolate peanut butter popcorn wasted.