Peanut butter popcorn balls are a delightful fusion of sweet and salty.
They offer a chewy yet crunchy bite and they couldn’t be easier to make.
Make them for a movie night snack or pass them out for Halloween. Either way, you’re friends and family will thank you!
The blend of brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and peanut butter offers a wonderfully gooey texture. And the rich, sweet, and nutty flavor is a dream.
Add some crunchy popcorn, and these bite-sized treats are guaranteed to fly off the plate.
So, if you want something sweet, sticky, and super fun, these peanut butter popcorn balls are a must-make.
Peanut Butter Popcorn Balls
These gooey, chewy, buttery, and sweet, peanut butter popcorn balls are scary good.
Try just eating one – I guarantee you can’t!
They call for just five ingredients and they’re a cinch to make.
You’ll coat perfectly popped kernels in a sticky peanut butter coating. Then, mold them into irresistible bite-sized delights.
Serve them like that or add decorations, if you like. I think they look great with a chocolate drizzle.
Popcorn balls are some of my go-to Halloween desserts. But they’re delicious all year round.
And with the right sprinkles, they’re perfect for every occasion.
Peanut butter popcorn balls only call for five ingredients. How great is that?!
Here’s the list of everything you need:
- Brown Sugar: For the best caramel taste and texture.
- White Corn Syrup: It sweetens the coating and helps it stick together.
- Butter: If you want salted caramel popcorn balls, use salted butter. Otherwise, regular butter works just fine.
- Peanut Butter: I think this works best with creamy peanut butter since it melts better. But feel free to try crunchy! Just avoid natural peanut butter as it’s too oily and won’t stick to the popcorn.
- Popcorn: You need about 20 cups of freshly popped popcorn. Use unflavored microwaveable popcorn or pop the kernels on the stove.
How to Make Peanut Butter Popcorn Balls
Since these are so easy, you might be tempted to have the kids help.
But keep in mind that the caramel coating will be very hot. So you’ll need to be careful when molding.
I think it’s best to make the balls and then let the kids decorate them. Give them chocolate to drizzle and sprinkles to scatter. They’ll love it!
Here’s how to make them:
1. Make the peanut butter caramel. Bring the caramel ingredients to a boil. Stir in the peanut butter until it’s nice and smooth.
2. Coat the popcorn. Pour the caramel over the popped corn and toss until it’s well coated.
3. Form the popcorn balls. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper and roll the popcorn into balls. Let them set for 30 minutes, serve, and enjoy!
These nutty caramel popcorn balls are spectacular as they are. But with a few extras, they become even more addictive.
Here’s a few of my favorite ways to jazz them up:
- Drizzle them with milk or white chocolate after molding.
- Add mini marshmallows to the popcorn and mix it all together.
- Sprinkle crushed Oreo cookies over them while they’re still sticky.
- Top with festive sprinkles for the different holidays.
- Add chocolate chips, M&Ms, or Reese’s Pieces before molding.
- Mold them onto a popsicle stick and dip the whole thing in chocolate.
Tips for the Best Popcorn Balls
Popcorn balls are easy to make. Still, I have a few tricks to ensure yours are the best they can be!
- Eat them when they’re fresh. These babies have the best texture the day you make them. The longer the popcorn sits, the soggier it becomes.
- Grease your hands to prevent sticking. Spray them lightly with cooking spray, and you’ll be mess-free.
- Work in batches. The coating hardens quite fast. So, pour half of the coating over half of the popcorn. Leave the coating on a very low heat so it doesn’t harden. Then, use it for the rest of the popcorn.
- Or, make half a recipe. Tossing 20 cups of popcorn can be a challenge if you don’t have a big enough bowl. So, to ensure everything gets coated properly, you might want to make half the recipe at a time.
- Remove the unpopped kernels. Unpopped kernels are inevitable. But they’re teeth-breakers if you don’t pick them out.
- Use a white corn syrup substitute. Not everyone keeps corn syrup on hand. If you don’t, swap it for maple syrup or honey.
How to Store
These peanut butter popcorn balls are best right when you make them. The texture is perfectly chewy then and they taste oh-so-fresh!
But if you have leftovers, you need to store them properly so they last. Here’s how:
To Store: Place cooled popcorn balls in an airtight container and keep them at room temperature for about 3 days.
Ideally, they should be kept away from heat. And remember that they won’t have the same crunch on day 3. So eat them fast!
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