So here’s a question for you: What’s a girl to do when she a) has a cooking blog, b) has a husband who insists upon not calling the oven repairman and fixing the oven himself, even though the oven has currently been inoperable for 20 days, and c) the heat index has been hovering between 107 and 115 degrees, plus humidity? My answer? Subsisting on microwave popcorn and Popsicles. I kid you not.
Sara and I have been working on a big project on the side here and a few months back, she called me wondering if I could send her my recipe for peanut butter cup popcorn. And I informed her that she must be mistaken and that it was her recipe. Apparently it was not her recipe (and not mine, unless I was sleep blogging again, because I don’t remember adding it to our list!) But the wheels in my head started turning and I started thinking, “We-ellll…if I were to make peanut butter cup popcorn, this is how I’d do it!” A little experimentation later and I’m pretty sure I’ve discovered the 8th deadly sin.
I feel like after all the feta recipes last month, it’s been awhile since we’ve posted something sweet. Since, due to my ovenlessness, baking is out of the question, and because I seem to have some summer-induced ADD and can’t seem to muster the concentration necessary to make ice cream, we have arrived at popcorn. Evil popcorn. Peanut butter- and chocolate-covered whole grain–a sheep in wolf’s clothing.
Part of what makes this recipe so dangerous is because it’s super, super quick and easy, you’re only a few minutes away from peanut buttery diet ruin. Part of what makes it so easy is using peanut butter chips from the baking aisle mixed with a little shortening or cooking oil to make it smooth and easy to coat the popcorn with. You’ll need about 1 1/2 packages of peanut butter chips. Save the rest for a batch of cookies down the road. Okay, who am I kidding? Those peanut butter chips will be hidden on a high shelf, far away from sticky jam hands and secretly snacked upon in moments of weakness. Not that I know from ANY firsthand experience. What else will you need? Popcorn (I used 2 bags of Orville’s simply salted popcorn; it doesn’t matter TOO much, but try to stay away from heavily buttered stuff), honey roasted peanuts, and semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Then you just heat the peanut butter chips and shortening in a microwave-safe bowl for a few minutes until it’s completely smooth.
Pour it over your popcorn and toss to coat the popcorn evenly. Then spread the popcorn on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Heat the chocolate in a Ziploc bag just until it’s melted and smooth (mash it around in your hands to see how smooth it is–it doesn’t need to be hot, just melted). Then you can cut a small corner in the hole of the bag and drizzle the chocolate over the popcorn and allow it to set up. You can pop the pan in the fridge or freezer to hurry up the process if you need to.
Then break it up into small pieces and snack away! You could easily fill cellophane bags, plastic cups, or small buckets from the $1 section of Target for individual serving or gift-giving.
2 bags of Simply Salted (or similar) popcorn (or about 20 cups of popped popcorn)
2 c. honey roasted peanuts
3 c. peanut butter chips (I used Reese’s)*
2/3 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips *
1 Tbsp. vegetable shortening or oil
Place the peanuts popped popcorn in a very large bowl. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the peanut butter chips and vegetable oil or shortening and heat for 2-2 1/2 minutes or until smooth, stirring every 30 seconds. Drizzle the melted peanut butter chips over the popcorn and peanuts and toss to combine.