June 12, 2017

PBJ Caramel Popcorn

PBJ Caramel Popcorn

Caramel popcorn takes on a new twist with Reese’s Pieces and chunks of strawberry fruit leather.

It’s been two months since my last post! Upgrades to the site caused my blog to get lost during the migration. But the technicians finally got us back online. Whew…thought I was going to have to call it quits. But I’m back!!

This was supposed to be posted right after Easter, but better late than never.

Anyway, celebrating Easter at our house was an all day affair with the whole clan coming to stay with us for the weekend. We had a ball with three generations connecting, partying, playing, eating, imbibing, and just enjoying family time. The little ones filled their baskets with a bounty of eggs found scattered on the lawn, stuck in plants, and balancing on ledges everywhere.  

The craziness of our family is our traditional Easter basket hunt. Yup, you heard me. Easter basket hunt. All the adults, which include grandparents, aunties and uncles, and grown-up cousins, create Easter baskets for the little ones. Instead of handing them the baskets, we make them work for it. We live on five acres, so there’s a lot space around here. Throughout the day, baskets are hidden and we tease the kids that we hear the Easter Bunny! They run everywhere looking for him, but are always too late. Luckily, he leaves behind baskets for them to discover.

And in the end, we have a lot of candy. This is when I start to think of things to create using all the sweets. Been wanting to munch on caramel popcorn, so I figured why not add the candies. I had a bowlful of Reese’s Pieces, which is peanut butter, and what goes great with it? Jam! And so I made PBJ Caramel Popcorn. Like any interpretation, you can’t always use the exact ingredients, so for the jam or jelly part, I used fruit leather. Not Fruit Roll Ups, but the thick natural stuff that I chopped up. When you grab a handful of popcorn, peanut butter candies, and fruit chunks, you get that great PBJ flavors coming together in your mouth.

PBJ Caramel Popcorn

Makes about 16 cups

  • 16 cups of popped popcorn (unpopped kernels removed)
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • 2/3 cups margarine
  • 2/3 cp light corn syrup
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 6 oz. natural strawberry fruit leather, chopped into small chunks
  • 1½ cups Reese’s Pieces

Spread the popped corn onto 2 cooking sheets with sides.  

In a 2 quart heavy sauce pan, combine sugar, corn syrup and margarine. A large pot is necessary because the end product will foam up considerably. Cook on medium hear until it boils. Continue to cook without stirring for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add baking soda and vanilla. Stir. This is when it will foam up, so don’t panic.

Pour over popped corn and toss to coat. Bake at 250 degrees for one hour. Stir occasionally to coat.

Pour both pans into a large bowl to cool and become crispy. Break into chunks. Toss with the candies and fruit chunks. Store in a tightly covered container.

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