Peanut Butter Cup Popcorn

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.

woman in denim shirt holding a salad bowl
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. Went out yesterday and made this at the office. We loved it. I did though, make mine with a little less peanutbutter (1 cup less) but added chocolate chips (1cup) to it instead, and then did the drizzle. Probably not as pretty as yours, but it was yummo!!

  2. Sarah–This will stay good for awhile, particularly if it's kept in an air-tight container, so it's great for shipping and gift-giving.

    The Salvesens–You definitely don't want to use butter or olive oil–it will make the peanut butter chips seize up and become clumpy. If you're concerned about the health aspect of oils, canola is a great alternative; it doesn't have the same nutrients as olive oil, but it has many of the same heart benefits. No matter how you cut it, though, this popcorn could easily serve 16-20, so you're only getting a tiny, tiny smidgen of oil in your portion.

    Washington Southworths–Nope, no particular popcorn! 🙂 You can use air-popped, microwave-popped (try the salt only or light butter varieties), or whatever you like best! 🙂

  3. I really, really do need to try my hand at some of this fancy-schmancy popcorn. We love Moose Munch at our house, but aren't wild about the cost! We'll have to give this a try. Does it matter… microwave popcorn, air-popped, stove-top?? That's been my only real hesitation in trying – I had thought it was best to have air-popped.

  4. So, I'm not much of a shortening or vegetable oil person, would it be ruined if I were to substitute it for e.v.o.o or real butter? And this sounds delicious by the way! My mouth is literally watering. I'm ready to make this ASAP.

    1. The shortening is what makes the peanut butter “set up” when it cools. If you don’t use it it wouldn’t work well.

  5. This looks so good!My husband would love this. If only my daughter did not have a peanut allergy.

  6. ABSOLUTELY to die for idea!!!! You are amazing! I thought I had "angered you guys" from my comment where I was honest about not enjoying feta…….and WOW, YOU know how to kick one out of the ballpark. My 2 very favorite things, combined together to make a heavenly concoction! I can't wait to get home and make this!!
    Thanks you ladies…

  7. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I love popcorn and being pregnant the only thing I have really craved is peanut butter and just a couple days I ago asked my self if peanut butter popcorn exist. A dream come true! It's a good thing I have peanut butter chips hiding in my freezer.

  8. OMG – this is a "must make immediately" recipe. My co-workers are going to love/hate me when I bring this one in to share!

  9. Mmmmmm, I can't wait to bust this out for our little family movie night this Friday!!!! I wonder if it could be made into little balls for each kid….

  10. All of your popcorn recipes have been the source of a diet badly ruined on numerous occasions! My butt/hips/thighs are so very lucky that I went grocery shopping yesterday and really have no good excuse to go back today! LOL

  11. ohhh evil evil evil!

    And I totally laughed when I pulled the blog up this morning and saw the title of this post, lol.

  12. You would have to post a popcorn recipe right after I got done telling my husband recently that I could totally live on salad and popcorn! I can't wait to try this!

  13. How long will it stay good for do you expect? I like the idea of using it for gifts or favors and wonder how far ahead of time I could put it together without loosing too much taste and texture quality. Would freezing it affect it?

  14. OMGoodness!
    First of all…that popcorn looks too delish!
    Oh me! Just too scrumptious!
    Second of all!
    I'm so sad your oven is out!
    Not fun!
    Why do things have to go out!
    I just ADORE this blog!
    The recipes are THE BEST!
    xo
    And love you girlies too!

  15. Thanks Kate, BTW your green enchilada sauce is my favorite thing ever! I always freeze it so I can have it when ever needed.
    Love this blog!

  16. Maria, I'm so sorry for you at this difficult time. 🙂

    Lisa–Thanks for pointing that out! The peanuts should go in with the popcorn at the very beginning; I changed the instructions to reflect that.

  17. WOW! This looks amazing. I think the chocolate drizzle is really what makes this over-the-top good. I can't wait to try it!!

  18. oh my word! that looks good, I think it was also here that I came across cinnamonbun popcorn I while back, it was a big hit at Christmas, now this! oh my I feel the need of a popcorn party coming on! LOL LOL LOL

  19. This sounds amazing. I can't wait to make it!! I bet you could even sub the peanut butter for caramel for another tasty delight!! Homemade cracker jacks there my friend!!

  20. At what point are you adding in the peanuts. I am guessing I can't go wrong, it looks simple and delish! but are you adding the peanuts before you pour the melted pb chips over?
    I can't wait to try this with my stir crazy popcorn, you'd never go back to microwave 😉
    thanks!

  21. this just made my morning so much more bearable! knowing this recipe exists will get me through today 🙂 thanks!