Crunchy microwave peanut butter caramel corn topped with mini peanut butter cups, and drizzled with white and dark chocolate. You wouldn’t believe how quick and easy this treat is to make!
Growing up, David and his family would make what they fondly refer to as Grandma Beth’s caramel corn. I just love her crunchy caramel corn recipe. It’s so easy to make, and it’s made 100% in the microwave (a lot of crunchy caramel corn recipes require an oven to get the popcorn crunchy).
This small batch peanut butter caramel corn is a little spin on Grandma Beth’s microwave caramel corn recipe. It all starts with a microwave peanut butter caramel sauce, poured over some plain popcorn. Then the popcorn is microwaved with the sauce, to get that crunchy exterior (like a peanut butter cracker jack).
The final touches include topping the cooled popcorn with miniature peanut butter cups and drizzling it all with even more chocolate. I’m really on a chocolate kick lately, just you wait for next week’s posts.
You will need a couple of BIG brown paper lunch sacks for this recipe (don’t use the standard size lunch bags, they will be too small). I purchased mine at Walmart. I’ve also had success using the smaller paper bags from the checkout stands at Winco. I like to double up on the lunch sacks to reduce the chances of my popcorn burning. I don’t double up on the Winco bags since they are already thicker than the lunch bags.
I sent a batch of this popcorn to school with David, and from what I have heard it was a total hit! We will definitely be making this again soon!
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp popcorn kernels
- 2 tbsp salted butter
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 3 tbsp light corn syrup
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup-1/3 cup miniature peanut butter cups*
- 1 oz dark chocolate melts
- 1 oz white chocolate melts
- 1 oz dark chocolate
- Pour the coconut oil into the bottom of a whirly pop stovetop popcorn maker. Heat over medium high heat until popcorn stops popping (turning the handle the whole time). Pour the popcorn onto a 1/4 baking sheet.
- Open two large paper lunch sacks and put one inside of the other. Put the popped corn into the lunch sack, by double-handfuls, making sure to “sift” out the old maids (unpopped kernels) as you go. Set bag of popped popcorn aside.
- In a medium microwaveable bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Microwave on high for 2 1/2-3 minutes stirring after each minute. When this mixture is ready it will be moderately thick, boiling hot (approx. 250˚F to be precise, but you don’t need a candy thermometer to make this), and caramel colored.
- Quickly stir in the baking soda, vanilla, and peanut butter until smooth. Pour over the popcorn in the bag. For this initial caramel coating, I use a long wooden spoon or silicon spatula to stir the caramel coating into the popcorn. Alternately, you can roll the bag shut and shake it as hard and fast as you can for 30 seconds.
- Roll bag closed and place it back in the microwave. Continue microwaving on high for 1 1/2 minutes, shaking vigorously every 20-30 seconds. Rotate the position of the bag each time you put it back in the microwave to prevent burning.
- Pour onto parchment lined 1/4 baking sheet. Let cool completely (10-20 minutes tops).
- Meanwhile, cut some of the mini peanut butter cups in half and leave some whole. Melt both chocolates.*
- When popcorn is cool and crunchy, top it with the peanut butter cups and drizzle with both chocolates. Let chocolate harden before devouring.