Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Popcorn Party & Movie Night: Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn

Popcorn Party and Movie Night

Looking for something fun to do this summer...inside?  I mean, I love to spend my summer outside, grilling out and splashing in the pool, but at some point the Texas heat just becomes unbearable.  That's when my family starts looking for indoor activities.  We hit the museum, visit the library and book stores, and go see all the summer blockbusters- doesn't that cold theater feel so good?!  Not to mention the popcorn.  I am not sure how much trans-fat is in a handful of that crunchy, salty goodness but it's summer, who cares?   I just can't seem to resist!

If you have read the blog before, you know my proclivity for making foods that are readily available for purchase, and though a bag of microwave popcorn will never compete with a tub of butter-slathered movie popcorn, I think I have found a suitable substitute.  A popcorn party!  How about several flavors of popcorn, sweet, salty, crunchy?  Or pile on the extras and mix up a cup or your own creation with m&m's, nuts, pretzels and cheese crackers.  Puts a whole new spin on trail mix, doesn't it?

So, pull out some favorite movies...old black and white classics, a Pixar marathon, comedy hour (our family loves Tim Hawkins!) and celebrate summer with a popcorn and movie night.

At our party, I made regular popcorn with butter and a tub of  "light" for those concerned with calories.  I offered toppings and mix-ins and then I made a few "specialty" flavors.  First, I whipped up a batch of my Almond Caramel Corn.  This is a family favorite. 

If you want to see the recipe you can visit Chocolate Almond Caramel Corn for the full recipe!

I also made a yummy, can't keep your hands out of the bowl, batch of Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn.  Do you remember the old recipe for Puppy Chow?  This is a popcorn version and it is fabulous.  Quick caveat- it doesn't store well (maybe a day or two) and tastes best when it is first made.  So, don't feel bad when you finish off the entire bowl.  Waste not, want not!

Secret: Want to turn up the volume on your party?  Our popcorn & movie night was a pajama party- adults included!!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn

7 cups plain popcorn (I used microwave popcorn.)
1 cup stick pretzels
2 cups Rice Chex cereal

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup creamy peanut butter
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups powdered sugar

I used my Puppy Chow recipe, and substituted popcorn. I think it is better when you mix in the pretzels and chex mix too which is similar to a version I had tried in a gourmet popcorn store.

Pop the popcorn and pour into a bowl.  Shake the popcorn and let any unpopped kernels fall to the bottom of the bowl.  We don't want anyone to break a tooth!  Carefully scoop out 7 cups into a separate large mixing bowl.  Add the pretzels and Chex cereal to the seven cups of popped corn.

In a microwave (at 50% power) or over a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter until melted and smooth. Stir in the vanilla.

Pour the chocolate mixture all over the popcorn mixture. Using a large spoon, carefully stir until all of the popcorn, pretzels and Chex cereal until evenly coated with the chocolate/peanut butter mixture.

Sift the powdered sugar over the chocolate-covered popcorn and stir until each piece is evenly coated. Spread the popcorn mixture on a baking sheet to cool. You can let it cool on the counter or speed up the process by sticking in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.  Break it up and serve it in a big bowl! Store leftovers in an airtight container.

1 comment:

  1. I love your blog so much Ms. Robin!!! :) I'm definitely planning on using some of your recipes here in Honduras!!! Love and miss you guys!