Peanut Butter Caramel Crunch Popcorn

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A decadent snack mix made with creamy peanut butter. This peanut butter caramel crunch popcorn will have you coming back for more!

Peanut Butter Caramel Crunch Popcorn | lifemadesimplebakes.com

A month ago I hopped online and ordered two bags of jumbo popcorn. What I did not realize is that they were 3.5 pound bags. Pregnancy brain? We now have 7 pounds of popcorn kernels sitting in our pantry. 😳 Thankfully it’s the season of candy making and goodie giving. There are plenty of neighbors, teachers and friends from church that will all be receiving plates full of treats… and a few bags of popcorn too!

I don’t make “artisan” popcorn very often. I mean, sure I’ve made it once or twice, but it’s been kind of fun coming up with new ways to use up all of those kernels. Today I’m sharing the first recipe we made: peanut butter caramel crunch popcorn. Man is it good!

Peanut Butter Caramel Crunch Popcorn | lifemadesimplebakes.com

To start you’ll want to set aside eight cups of plain popcorn. I used jumbo or mushroom popcorn. You can order it online like I did (just double check the weight before you buy it ☺️) or find it in most well-stocked grocery stores. It’s much more attractive than regular popcorn in my opinion. I’m a food snob, I know.

Peanut Butter Caramel Crunch Popcorn | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Next you’ll want to make the caramel sauce. Don’t panic. It’s really easy. Grab a large stock pot or dutch oven and heat the corn syrup and brown sugar. Once it simmers, add the butter and melt. Whisk in a half cup of your favorite creamy peanut butter. I used Peanut Butter & Co’s smooth peanut butter. It’s an all-natural peanut butter with a bold, nutty taste. Basically a peanut butter lover’s dream come true! Toss in some salt, vanilla extract and baking soda.

Peanut Butter Caramel Crunch Popcorn | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Carefully fold in the popped popcorn and coat. Spread onto a lined baking sheet and sprinkle roasted peanuts over top. Bake for 30 minutes at 250 degrees. This will help dry out the caramel corn and create a crisper texture. Remove from the oven and let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. Drizzle with chocolate and place it in the refrigerator to set.

Peanut Butter Caramel Crunch Popcorn | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Once the chocolate has set, you can break the popcorn into chunks. It’s perfect for holiday gift bags, tins or goodie plates.

Peanut Butter Caramel Crunch Popcorn | lifemadesimplebakes.com

I’m warning you now, this sweet and salty peanut butter caramel crunch popcorn is addictive. It’s a good thing I went crazy with the popcorn because we’ll be making this all December long!

Peanut Butter Caramel Crunch Popcorn

A decadent snack mix made with creamy peanut butter. This peanut butter caramel crunch popcorn will have you coming back for more!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. light corn syrup
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 5 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/2 c. smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 8 c. popped popcorn*
  • 1/3 c. lightly salted roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 c. chocolate melting wafers, melted**

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, set aside.
  2. In a large pot set over medium heat, add corn syrup and brown sugar, whisk to combine. Bring to a simmer.
  3. Add butter and whisk until melted. Whisk in peanut butter, then salt, vanilla and baking soda.
  4. Remove from the heat and carefully stir in popcorn. Spread onto prepared baking sheet, sprinkle peanuts over top. Gently press with a spatula.
  5. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, stirring once at the 15 minute mark. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes before drizzling the top with chocolate. Place baking sheet in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to allow the chocolate to set. Remove and break into chunks.

* I used mushroom popcorn kernels or “jumbo” popcorn kernels.

**I used Ghirardelli melting wafers. They set up better than chocolate chips or baking bars.

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