Crunchy peanut butter popcorn has that perfect sweet and salty balance. It is perfect for movie night, game night, tailgates and more!
Peanut butter caramel popcorn has it all. This recipe mixes crunchy caramel corn with a healthy dose of peanut butter.
It is perfect for snacking, great for movie night, and even makes a fun edible gift.
Sweet crunchy popcorn is almost always a good thing in my opinion. Add a kick of peanut butter and I am all in. Every. Single. Time.
This peanut butter popcorn has that sweet and salty thing going for it. If you like caramel corn and peanut butter, this is the perfect snack for you.
Little Dude and I both have a love for peanut butter and popcorn. So, I thought we should mix them together and see how it goes.
The first time I tried making peanut butter popcorn, I made it using the same idea as Jenny’s Smacky Delcious Mix and Grandma Scharnhorst’s Microwave Caramel Corn where you use the microwave to dry it out.
While that method works great for some things and certainly saves some time, I couldn’t get the texture I wanted for this recipe. So I reverted to using the oven to get that crunchy finish like in baked caramel corn.
Baking it in the oven does take a little bit of time, but it is totally worth it. Besides, it is not active time.
You can be doing other things while you wait for the timer to beep. Then it’s just a quick stir and back in the oven. Easy peasy!
What is this peanut butter popcorn like?
While looking for recipes that combine our love for peanut butter and popcorn, I found variations that involve just drizzling warm peanut butter over popcorn. I also found sticky versions of peanut butter popcorn.
But neither of those are very practical if you want to take it along with you. Or if you are needing to keep your hands clean while you eat it!
This popcorn is more like a peanut butter version of Cracker Jacks. In fact, you could add peanuts and make it just that.
The peanut butter mixture is baked onto the popcorn to help it form a crisp crust of sweet peanut butter goodness on the kernels. Once it is cooled you can bag it up.
That makes it perfect for taking with you to game night. It also makes it fun to pass out as a party favor or edible gift.
Tips and Tricks
You can pop your own popcorn for this recipe or use two bags of microwave popcorn. It will be delicious either way.
Be sure to use a large saucepan when making the caramel. It foams and expands when you stir in the baking soda.
If you don’t want to use corn syrup, substitute in maple syrup or honey instead. Or check out my collection of substitutes for corn syrup.
Don’t overcook the caramel mixture once it comes to a boil. It will become to thick and hard to work with.
Make sure to spread over wax paper while it is still warm otherwise it will harden into one big sheet of popcorn and may stick to the pan.
Cool completely before storing to optimal crunchiness and longest shelf life.
Want an extra decadent treat? Drizzle with melted chocolate!
Or add candy corn and peanuts to make a hillbilly hash popcorn snack mix.
How do you store peanut butter caramel corn?
You peanut butter popcorn can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a week or two. Just be sure to keep it out of humidity and it should stay crunchy and delicious.
How do you keep caramel corn from sticking together?
Stirring the popcorn throughout the cooking process will help to get it evenly coated. Make sure to spread it out over plenty of wax paper when it cools to keep it from sticking together. If you do end up with some big chunks, just break them into smaller pieces when transferring them to the storage container.
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a review in the recipe card below!
Peanut Butter Popcorn
- 12 cups popcorn
- ¼ cup butter
- ⅓ cup corn syrup
- ⅔ cup packed light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup creamy peanut butter
- pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 250°F and grease a rimmed baking sheet
- Place popcorn in a large bowl and set aside
- In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Stir in corn syrup, brown sugar, salt and peanut butter. Cook, stirring frequently until it comes to a low boil. Continue to boil, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
- Remove saucepan from heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla. Be careful as the mixture is really hot and it is going to bubble up quite a bit. Pour hot peanut butter caramel over popcorn and toss to coat.
- Spread popcorn over prepared baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
- Spread popcorn over wax paper to cool. Once cooled completely, store in an airtight container until ready to serve.