Peanut Butter Caramel Corn!! Popped corn kernels are drowned in a delicious caramel sauce mixed with a healthy dose of peanut butter and peanuts. Perfect for movie night crunchy snackin’!
Holy crap – I haven’t posted a recipe in 8 days! Forgive me, peeps. I’ve been busy. I’m supposed to be on vacation and instead of relaxing I have spent the past couple of days painting three walls and a door.
So all I have for you is this Peanut Butter Caramel Corn. Yeah, I ought to have a lil’ Thanksgiving somethin’ somethin’ but I don’t and I apologize. We’re celebrating Thanksgiving on Friday and quite frankly, I’m not even ready. I JUST moved my pork shoulder from the freezer to the fridge. I have no pies. I don’t even have pie dough in the freezer.
Ugh. I’m slacking.
Anyway, this popcorn should more than make up for my lack of Thanksgiving mojo.
I have a slight obsession with caramel corn. I mean, look at it? Caramel doused popcorn. It’s crack is what it is.
Of course, I had to make this popcorn super crack by adding peanut butter and peanuts to the mix.
How did this happen? Glad you asked, homeslice.
One Sunday I wondered if peanut butter and caramel would work together. And before I could stop myself, before I could talk myself out of such a thing, I melted my last 2/3 cup of peanut butter with 2 sticks of butter, 2 cups of brown sugar, and 1/2 a cup of corn syrup.
The caramel is cooked for about 5 minutes. That’s all. Five minutes.
This sweet and salty peanut butter laced caramel is poured into a giant bowl of popcorn. It’s mixed and mixed until almost every kernel is coated, and then it’s baked for about 40 minutes. Why do we bake? Because, maaaaaaan! Heat makes the caramel adhere to the kernels. AND! Once the popcorn cools the kernels are crunchy. Super crunchy. Oh, and did I mention I drizzled it with melted chocolate? Because I did. The sweet, salty, crunchy, nuttiness of this popcorn will have you reaching for the bowl, smacking all the hands. It’s yours. All yours. That’s why this popcorn is crack. Super crack. Like I could be THE drug kingpin if this Peanut Butter Caramel Corn were crack.
My Kingpin name would be Too Sweets.
Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!
Peanut Butter Caramel Corn
- Popcorn kernels, unpopped - 1 1/4 cup
- Unsalted peanuts - 1 cup
- Unsalted butter - 1 cup (2 sticks)
- Smooth peanut butter - 2/3 cup, heaping
- Light corn syrup - ½ cup
- Packed light brown sugar - 2 cups
- Kosher salt - 1 teaspoon
- Baking Soda - 1/2 teaspoon
- Vanilla extract - 3 tablespoons
Pop the kernels using your preferred popping method. Place the popped popcorn in a very large bowl and add the peanuts. Note: There should be enough room in your bowl for tossing the popcorn.
Preheat the oven to 250° F and line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
Make the caramel – Melt the butter and peanut butter in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Once the butter and peanut butter have melted, add the corn syrup, brown sugar and salt. Whisk until the mixture comes together, and then increase the heat to medium-high and bring it to a boil, whisking frequently.
Once the mixture reaches a boil, allow it to continuously boil for about 5 minutes without stirring. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla extract, The mixture will bubble up a bit and froth (stand back). Whisk vigorously until all the liquid is combined and the mixture is somewhat smooth. Pour the caramel sauce over the popcorn and toss to coat thoroughly with a silicone spatula. You can use salad tongs as well, but I find silicone spatulas work best for me.
Spread the popcorn evenly onto your prepared baking sheets. If it’s clumpy, that’s fine – The caramel will melt and you will eventually coat all the kernels evenly.
Bake for 40-50 minutes (you may have to do this in batches), tossing the popcorn with tongs every 10 minutes or so to incorporate the caramel evenly.
After about 40 minutes, remove a couple of pieces of popcorn from the baking trays and allow them to come to room temperature. If they’re not completely crispy and still mushy when you bite into them, bake for 5-8 more minutes. Continue checking this way until the popcorn has a crisp bite to it.
Remove the baking sheets to a wire rack and allow popcorn to cool completely before breaking apart for serving or packaging… - Or eating right then and there.