Salted Dark Chocolate and Honey – Peanut Butter Popcorn

I have an announcement to make.

It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time, and I think I’m ready to share.

I have taken a lover… and things have gotten serious. We’ve known each other for a long time, but over the last couple of months we’ve taken our relationship to a new level. It’s a can’t wait to get home to be with you, cuddle up and watch a movie, go to parties and eye each other from across the room kind of love.

It’s someone who is always there for me no matter my mood; someone who is pure and simple, yet surprisingly complex; and someone who is dependable.

It’s popcorn.

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Sweet, salty, cheesey, garlicy versatile popcorn. $1.99 a bag, fresh scent filling my apartment, pop-popping little corn kernels of love popcorn.

I don’t know how it happened, but over the last few months it’s become a huge staple in diet. What started out innocently enough as spicy caramel popcorn for special occasions and a small batch of salted popcorn in the afternoon has turned into a full-blown addiction. It’s my go-to snack, dessert, and sometimes even meal replacement. 

I basically think it should be it’s own food group.

Once I started eating popcorn regularly, I started to up my flavor game. There’s a little something for every occasion – simply salted for an afternoon snack; salt, garlic powder, and cayenne for a pre-dinner / cocktail hour treat; cinnamon-sugar for dessert. [This last one was a game changer].

Another favorite includes putting whole cloves of garlic in the oil along with the kernels, and then covering the popcorn in Brewers yeast. The whole cloves turn soft and sweet, and the Brewer’s gives the popcorn a cheesey, savory flavor. More than once we had that with fried eggs for dinner on the farm.

But here, for Valentine’s Day, I wanted to do something special. Salted dark chocolate, already a match made in heaven, and sweet honey – peanut butter… need I say more? As if each of these flavors wasn’t enough as a stand-alone treat, I have taken to eating one piece of chocolate and one piece of peanut butter together. Pound it.

So here’s to you, popcorn. Thanks for all that you do.   

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Stovetop Popcorn

½ c. popcorn kernels

2- 3 T. oil [canola works best]

In a large pot, heat the oil and 3 kernels of popcorn over high / medium – high heat. When the kernels pop, add the rest of the popcorn and cover the pot with a lid. Continue to cook while the popcorn does it’s thing, shaking the pot often. Once the kernels stop popping, immediately remove the pot from the heat. Salt to taste.

 

Salted Dark Chocolate Popcorn

4 oz. good quality dark chocolate

¾ t. kosher salt

Pour half of the popped popcorn into a bowl. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a microwave safe bowl [or double boiler], melt the chocolate with ½ t. of salt. When the chocolate turns to liquid, pour of the popcorn and mix until combine. Spread onto your prepared baking sheet, and sprinkle with the remaining ¼ t. of salt. Allow the chocolate to harden before breaking into chunks.

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Honey – Peanut Butter Popcorn

½ c. honey

1/3 c. sugar

½ c. peanut butter [I used chunky]

½ t. vanilla extract

¼ – ½ c. chopped peanuts

Pour half the popped popcorn into a bowl. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Bring the honey and sugar to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Let boil for two minutes, then remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter and vanilla until creamy. Add in the peanuts and pour over the popcorn. Mix well, and then spread onto a your prepared baking sheet. Allow popcorn to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. 

 

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