Nothing makes a snack more perfect than when it combines elements of salty and sweet. A snack that has both flavor elements can be much more satisfying than a snack that only has one. Some of my favorite salty and sweet snack choices are chocolate covered pretzels, butter pecan frozen yogurt, cheese covered apples, and this peanut butter popcorn recipe.
Popcorn is a snack that simple, healthy and universal (hard to find someone that does not like popcorn). While traditional butter flavored popcorn will always be a crowd favorite, flavored or coated popcorn are becoming extremely popular. You can find everything from spicy sriracha flavored popcorn to extra sweet brown sugar popcorn. Like with most flavored popcorn’s, this recipe takes traditional popcorn and elevates it to the next level.
For my peanut butter popcorn recipe you can use popcorn that is made by means of the stove top, a popcorn maker or popcorn from a microwave bag. Granted using the microwave bag method is by far the easiest and fastest method. Even though I am huge fan of air popped popcorn, I would not suggest it for this recipe. Air popped popcorn does not have the same flavor profile that is needed and the popcorn can become quite stale very quickly.
Peanut Butter Popcorn
1/4 cup popcorn kernels (or 1 bag of microwave popcorn)
1/2 cup cane or coconut sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil (or vegetable oil) – If using popcorn maker or stove top method
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup creamy style peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
– Stove top Popcorn Method
Heat a large stock pot over medium heat and film the bottom with the coconut (or vegetable) oil. After a couple of minutes the oil will become hot. Add the popcorn kernels to the oil and cover with a lid. n the pan, leaving a small crack for steam to escape. When the first kernel pops, put the lid on all the way. As the popcorn starts popping, shake vigorously to make sure the kernels are distributed evenly. When the popping slows to a few seconds between pops, take the pan off the heat. After popcorn is finished proceed to the peanut butter coating step.
– Microwave Popcorn Method
Follow the instructions on the bag of microwave popcorn. In general the bag is placed with a certain side up in the microwave and is heated for about 2 minutes. After popcorn is finished proceed to the peanut butter coating step.
– Popcorn Machine Method
Follow the instructions on the popcorn machine. In general you typically turn on the machine, add oil to the machine, then add the popcorn kernels and the machine does the rest. After popcorn is finished proceed to the peanut butter coating step.
Peanut Butter Coating Steps
Pour the popcorn into a large bowl. In a medium saucepan, combine the honey and sugar. Over medium-high heat, heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Bring the temperature down and let the mixture simmer for about 2 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat. Add the peanut butter, vanilla extract and salt. Stir until all the peanut butter is melted.
Quickly pour the peanut butter mixture over the popped popcorn and stir with a spoon until all the popcorn is coated. Let the popcorn cool before serving.