Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tuesday's Twist: Monster Cookie Popcorn

Tuesday's Twist:  A basic recipe with a fun twist.  In other words, just another excuse for me to play around with weird recipes I've been dying to try.

Between my obsession with peanut butter and my love of popcorn, it's not too surprising for me to combine the two.  I've been making peanut butter caramel corn for a while, but decided to jazz it up a bit for this week's twist.  Popcorn coated with the quintessential ingredients of a monster cookie leads to inevitable munching.

I can justify the munching, no problem.  You see, eating this crunchy snack is much healthier than just eating cookie dough.  Popcorn is a whole grain, so are rolled oats. Win, win.  Peanuts and peanut butter provide protein and raisins count as fruit.  Chocolate is made from cocoa beans so it's practically a vegetable. Wait a minute, that doesn't sound right. Don't believe everything you read.  Are cocoa beans similar enough to black beans to aid in our justification?  Hmmm, maybe we should just go with all things in moderation.

But really, the caramel coating does have less fat than many caramel corn recipes.  By using peanut butter we can cut the butter to 2 tablespoons instead of an entire stick or more.  So munch away.

Monster Cookie Popcorn
inspired by BruCrew Life
base recipe adapted from Cooking Light

12 cups popped popcorn
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup corn syrup
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup roasted peanuts
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup mini candy-coated chocolate pieces

* Preheat oven to 250 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place popcorn in a large heatproof bowl, removing any unpopped kernels; set aside.
* In a 2-quart saucepan combine brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt. Bring to a rapid boil over medium heat. Boil 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
* Remove from heat and add peanut butter and vanilla, stirring until smooth.  Quickly add oats, peanuts and raisins, stir once or twice and immediately pour mixture over popcorn. Toss until evenly coated.
* Spread onto prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with candy-coated chocolate pieces.  Bake for 1 hour, gently stirring every 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely; store leftovers in airtight container.

Food for Thought: "Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love." 2 Peter 3:5-7

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