Thursday, December 18, 2014

Peanut Butter Popcorn for snacking and sharing...

My grandma was a peanut butter fanatic. I foggily remember that after achieving a goal in Weight Watchers all she wanted was a spoonful of the stuff. Grandma had recipes for delicious chunky peanut butter cookies (sent to my college dorm) and a slick peanut butter fudge, but my favorite peanut butter creation of hers continues to be her peanut butter popcorn. This year the kids and I decided to change up our teacher gifting this year and give the popcorn in place of the snicker doodles.

We enjoyed the change if just for a year and we had fun working together (mostly) to make Granny's recipe and show our teachers we appreciate their work on our behalf.

The recipe is simple, requires few ingredients, and makes quite a bit of very addictive peanut butter popcorn. Here's how we make it:

What you'll need:

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup peanut butter (go high quality here, no thin runny stuff)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Popcorn, popped*

*I pop a full 1 cup of kernels and I think it ends up yielding somewhere between 12-15 cups of popped corn. The more popcorn you use, the thinner covering of peanut butter sauce, the less popcorn, the thicker the sauce covering.

Here's what to do...

While you cook the sauce, have your clean-handed kids sort out any unpopped kernels (it would NOT be a gift for one of the recipients to break a tooth on a tough kernel!).

{Popcorn pictured is from 2-3 batches of popcorn.}

Next in a medium-sized saucepan combine the sugar, corn syrup...

...and honey.

Stir well to combine.

Heat to a hard boil and allow to boil for two minutes.

You'll absolutely want to set a timer. Over-boiling just wouldn't be prudent!!

{This timer comes with a quick read thermometer and is beyond useful...super gift idea for the chef in your life!}

When your timer buzzes the end of two minutes, remove from heat and add the peanut butter...

...and the vanilla.

Stir, stir, stir until very smooth making sure all the peanut butter clumps are melted.

Put the popcorn in a large bowl or on a cookie sheet and pour the peanut butter sauce over it immediately.

Then stir until sauce is distributed evenly through popcorn paying particular attention to the bottom of the pan where the sauce will pool if left to its own devices!

Allow popcorn to cool for about 10-15 minutes and then place in desired containers...

Label them and watch as your kids get to enjoy giving their gifts!

NOTE: You may want to make extra OR decide not to sample even one kernel because once you start eating it...well, just go on ahead and make the extra batch.

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