Peanut Butter Cup Caramel Corn

Blame it on those cute little Boy Scouts that sold me the peanut butter cup popcorn, or maybe the fact that I have been craving peanut butter like nobody’s business. Either way I set out to find a peanut butter popcorn recipe and created the most amazing caramel popcorn I have ever tasted! :D

If peanut butter caramel corn didn’t sound amazing enough, I just had to take this caramel corn over the top! I threw in some honey roasted peanuts just for fun and it tasted great. I should have stopped there, but you know how I like to take things over the top, so I added an extra punch of peanut-buttery goodness by drizzling melted peanut butter chips and chocolate on top. Oh. My. Goodness. Incredible! If you are a fan of peanut butter and chocolate, you just have to give this recipe a try. Trust me! ;)

Peanut Butter Cup Caramel Corn

Yield: 20 servings

Ingredients:

20 cups popped popcorn (about 2 bags of popcorn) (or ½ cup kernels)
2 1/2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup light-colored corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup honey roasted peanuts
2 cups peanut butter chips
1/2 tablespoon vegetable shortening
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 250° F. Place popcorn in a large bowl. Spray two large shallow baking dishes with non-stick cooking spray.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla. Pour over popcorn, stirring to coat.
Transfer coated popcorn in the prepared baking dishes and bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely then break into pieces. Stir in peanuts.
In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the peanut butter chips and vegetable shortening and heat for 2-2 1/2 minutes or until smooth, stirring every 30 seconds. Drizzle over the popcorn and toss to combine.
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips until just melted and smooth (about 1-1 1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds). Transfer to a Ziploc bag and cut a small corner of the bag and drizzle over the popcorn. Place the two pans in the refrigerator until chocolate has hardened. Break into small pieces and serve.

Source: A Sweet Pea’s Kitchen Creation, Inspired by Cooking Light, October 2011 and Our Best Bites

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