Happy Wednesday! I can’t believe it’s Wednesday already. While I LOVE having the extra-long weekend, it always throws me for a loop when I have one less weekday to be productive. I’m playing catch up for sure.
Did everyone have a good Memorial Day weekend? I did a whole lot of nothing, and it was glorious. We are fortunate enough to have a pool, and this weekend was beyond perfect for poolside relaxation. Whenever the baby went down for a nap, we took full advantage (clearly). We also took him swimming for the first time. Kieran can be pretty unpredictable. He’s stubborn, strong willed, and sometimes high maintenance all while being the most endearing little thing…and other times, he is the most laid back baby ever. I was totally expecting him to freak out when put in the pool for the first time, but he LOVED it. Totally just chilled in his baby float with a pacifier in his mouth. It was a wonderful surprise.
In addition to that, we ate very well. Lots of grilling (aka, low-maintenance meals), margaritas, and even a steakhouse dinner out with friends. It was a fantastic weekend on all fronts.
The only thing missing was this popcorn. I’m kicking myself for not thinking to make this for random munching throughout the weekend. It is addictive stuff. Popcorn, in general, is one of my top 3 favorite snacks of all time. It’s right up there with cheese and crackers and guacamole and chips. I can never get enough.
Popcorn is awesome for so many reasons, but a few include how easy it is to make at home, how satisfyingly crunchy and snack-y (I know, not a word) it is, and how versatile the flavor options are. While savory renditions are definitely my favorite, it’s fun to make popcorn on the sweet side every now and then. This version does not disappoint.
It starts with peanut butter caramel. OMG, did you guys know this was a thing? I had no idea, but I am so glad I discovered it. I’m thinking an ice cream concoction using this peanut butter caramel is around the corner. Stay tuned.
And then, because there are few combinations on this good earth better than chocolate and peanut butter, I drizzled on some melted dark chocolate and tossed everything with some salty cashews (my favorite of the nuts) and some flaky sea salt…because I cannot get enough of the salty-sweet thing. It’s been well documented on this blog thus far (here, here, here, AND here…plus a few more). Salt for life.
The result? Amazing. My husband came home from work on the day I made this, and we both stood over the sheet pan full of popcorn, shoveling it in our faces without shame. Lots of “om nom nom nom”-ing was going on. I think I even had the baby on my hip while this happened. He was probably thinking “WTF?” in baby language. It’s embarrassing now…but was only glorious at the time.
I highly recommend that you make this popcorn immediately. And stand over your stove while it’s still warm and shove it in your face. Do it in private…or with your non-judgmental, equally-piggish significant other. Hah.
It’s a win either way.
Now, back to real life. Happy Hump Day, friends!
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup popcorn kernels
Flaked sea salt, to taste
2 cups salted cashews, lightly chopped
½ cup light corn syrup
½ cup sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1-2 teaspoons flaky sea salt (or to taste)
1 tablespoon butter
8 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
Heat the butter and oil in a very large pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add a few kernels of popcorn. When the kernels start to sizzle, pour in the rest of the popcorn and cover the pot. Cook until all the kernels are popped, shaking the pot a few times. Remove from heat and sprinkle lightly with salt. (NOTE: you may have to pop the popcorn in batches, depending on your pot size. You could also use an air popper.)
Spread out the popcorn and cashews out on two large, rimmed baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
Combine the corn syrup and sugars in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until the mixture boils. Simmer for 2 minutes and then remove from heat. Add the peanut butter, honey, and vanilla and stir until the peanut butter is melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in the heavy cream and 1 teaspoon of the flaky sea salt.
While the caramel is still hot, carefully pour it over the popcorn and nuts. Toss carefully with a spoon or spatula to ensure that everything is evenly coated. Sprinkle the remaining sea salt over the popcorn mixture while it’s still warm. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, melt the butter and chocolate in a double boiler until smooth and glossy. Drizzle the chocolate over the popcorn/nut mixture and allow to cool slightly before serving.
The popcorn is best if eaten right away, but you can store any leftover popcorn in an airtight container at room temperature. It should last a couple days.
Adapted from here.