SNICKERS® are my weakness. They’re my favorite Halloween candy ever. So it’s not a big stretch maybe, but I know you want to know the inspiration for this beyond amazing SNICKERS popcorn recipe, right? Of course you do!
I am constantly running around. I’m a mom of two who’s on the executive board of two school PTOs and also works part time. It might not surprise you that things don’t always work out the way they’re supposed to. I do my best, for example, to ensure I fill up my gas tank regularly, but that doesn’t always happen before the dummy light goes on.
I attempt to keep my gas at a quarter tank or over, simply because it’s better for my car. It runs better over the long run when the fuel pump isn’t exposed to air because there isn’t any gas to cover it (I learned that one the hard way with my first car) and when it isn’t sucking up any of the sediment at the bottom of the gas tank because that’s all that there is left of it.
My brain works the same way. When I don’t fuel my body, it shuts down. How often have you lost your car keys when they were sitting in the ignition, so of course they aren’t in your purse? Or gone to the store because you absolutely had to have tomatoes for dinner and decided to do the rest of your shopping while there and walked out of the store and realized when you got home that you never bought tomatoes? Or my personal favorite. I lose my sunglasses all. the. time. You don’t want to know how often they’re simply on my head.
Needless to say, the last time I was running on empty – both physically and my poor car – I filled up at Speedway and ran inside to get something for me, too. Who knew that there were so many varieties of SNICKERS candy bars now? With the special 2 for $3.33 offer, of course I had to pick up two, but it was hard to choose between the SNICKERS Xtreme (mmmm just the caramel and peanuts covered with chocolate), the SNICKERS Almond (almonds in place of the traditional peanuts), and the SNICKERS Peanut Butter Squared (traditional SNICKERS with peanut butter squares inside).
The fact that there were all sorts of different options in three (yes three) different places in my Speedway meant that I picked up the SNICKERS Xtreme and the Peanut Butter Squared from the big candy aisle, then changed my mind to get a SNICKERS Almond by the rack when you first walk in the door, only to realize that was the wrong size for the 2 for $3.33 offer when I got to the counter and saw another SNICKERS display with the SNICKERS Almond size I needed to complete that deal. See? This is what happens when my brain isn’t functioning properly.
Once I was back in my car and unwrapped my SNICKERS Xtreme – because it was an extreme need, obviously – I felt better. I thought about just putting them in the console of my car to save for when I need them…
…but once I bit into that first bite, something happened.
I had a lightbulb moment.
With all the new SNICKERS varieties out there now, why not make my own SNICKERS treat? It would have to still have caramel. And plenty of chocolate. After all, those are my two favorite parts of the SNICKERS candy bar, aside from the nougat and peanuts. And that’s how my SNICKERS popcorn recipe was born.
SNICKERS Popcorn Recipe
I make caramel all the time, whether it’s caramel sauce or filling for a treat or something else entirely, so I knew adapting my caramel sauce would be a piece of cake. I used brown sugar because I wanted a true caramel taste but without adding any cream to it. I also knew that I needed to add some baking soda to the finished caramel, which is what helps keep it soft and chewy rather than being harder like a brittle.
The popcorn part was super easy, of course. Every time we have Movie Night with Mommy, I make popcorn on the stove, which means I don’t even have to think about it. I love the flavor of stove popped popcorn. It’s not dry like most microwave popcorns, has no chemicals, pops every kernel, and – best of all – you get a mini workout before you eat. Not familiar with this technique? I made a video tutorial on how to pop popcorn on the stove that’ll get you popping in no time.
First up was making the popcorn. I made a big bowl of it and used about 4 quarts of what I made (pop just a little more than a cup of kernels, and you’ll be set). This? This is enough to make a batch of SNICKERS popcorn and have some left over.
Once the popcorn for my SNICKERS popcorn was popped, I lined my big roaster pan with tin foil to make cleanup super easy. Trust me, you don’t want to have to try to scrape cooled caramel off your pan. I used two layers to cover the sides of both the long end and the short end, which meant that my second layer was the tin foil I used for my popcorn, so it was already just a touch lightly greased from the popcorn hitting it as it popped. If you aren’t using that tin foil, lightly spray your tin foil with nonstick spray so that your caramel corn sticks less. Put your popped popcorn in there to await the caramel-y goodness that’s coming.
At the same time, you want to preheat your oven to 250 degrees – and no, that isn’t a typo. You want it much cooler than usual because you don’t want to overcook your caramel and cause it to crystallize. This stays just at 250 degrees.
Next up was the caramel, which comes together really easily. All you need to do is add the butter, brown sugar, salt, and corn syrup to a heavy pot that is bigger than you think you’ll need. The one I used was barely big enough, to be honest, but I knew that going in and was ready to pour the caramel as it started to foam. I like my heavy cast iron because it distributes heat evenly, which means I’m less likely to scorch my caramel.
Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring it constantly (which yes, is a totally different technique from when I’m making caramel starting with just white sugar in a pot) to ensure nothing on the bottom burns. Bring it to the soft ball stage, and remove it from the heat once it hits 240 degrees. Again, because I have a cast iron pot that retains heat beautifully, I pull mine at about 237 because I know it will heat those last couple degrees while I’m getting my baking soda ready.
Once you remove it from the heat, add the baking soda and stir to combine. It will lighten in color a bit and start to foam more than when it was boiling. Go ahead and pour it over your prepped popcorn in the roaster. Stir the popcorn gently with a spatula until the popcorn is almost all coated with the caramel sauce and pop it in your 250 degree oven for a half hour, pulling it out at the 15 minute mark to stir it and again at the 30 minute mark to stir it.
While your SNICKERS popcorn corn is cooking, chop your SNICKERS candy bars into small chunks.
Once the popcorn has baked for 30 minutes and you’ve stirred it that second time, add the SNICKERS pieces of whatever flavor(s) you’ve chosen and stir again to distribute throughout your popcorn. I used more of the SNICKERS Xtreme and the SNICKERS Almond – because yum! – but any variety will work. Return it to the oven for another five minutes just to let the SNICKERS soften up a bit.
Once you pull the SNICKERS popcorn from the oven, let it cool just a bit while you melt some dark chocolate to drizzle over it (see, I told you the caramel and the chocolate were my fixation!). Lay your popcorn flat to get chocolate drizzled over more of it. I flatten the two sheets of tin foil I’ve used and place the popcorn in a layer on each one so I’m not using more materials.
Using a fork, drizzle the chocolate over the popcorn in strings going in various directions to give it a fun look and pattern.
Let the chocolate harden for five to ten minutes, then break it up into smaller chunks and serve your SNICKERS popcorn immediately. Just don’t tell anyone I was doing a little quality control before I “officially” served it.
This will store in a sealed container for two to three days. I may or may not have a bag or two of SNICKERS popcorn hidden in the center console of my car right now just in case I end up with some low fuel again.
Think you have issues when you get hungry? Enter the SNICKERS® “Who are you when you’re hungry?” contest by uploading a personal photo or video from your Computer, Facebook, Instagram or use the SNICKERS® Meme Generator to create something new! Voting begins at Noon on 5/11/15 and ends at 11:59:59AM ET on 7/15/15.
- 1 T oil
- 1 c popcorn kernels (4 quarts popped popcorn)
- 1 c butter, unsalted
- 2 c brown sugar
- 1/2 c corn syrup
- 1 t salt
- 1 t baking soda
- 4 large SNICKERS® bars
- 3 oz dark chocolate
- Pop your popcorn on the stove with the oil and popcorn kernels. (Or omit the oil and pop in your air popper.) Measure out 16 cups or 4 quarts of popped popcorn.
- Line a large roasting pan with tin foil and add the popcorn to it.
- Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.
- In a heavy pot, add the butter, brown sugar, salt, and corn syrup. Over medium heat, melt and continue to cook. Once it has melted, stir constantly until it reaches 240 degrees.
- Remove the caramel from the heat immediately and add the baking soda. Stir to combine. Once it starts to foam, pour over your popcorn and stir gently to coat all the popcorn with the caramel.
- Place the caramel corn in the 250 degree oven and cook for 30 minutes, removing the popcorn after the first fifteen minutes to stir. Stir again when you remove it at the thirty minute mark.
- While the caramel corn is baking, chop your SNICKERS® bars into small bite size pieces about the size of a piece of popped popcorn.
- Once the caramel corn is stirred at 30 minutes, add the SNICKERS® pieces to the caramel corn and stir to distribute the SNICKERS® throughout the caramel corn. Return to the oven for 5 minutes to let the SNICKERS® soften.
- Remove from the oven and place the popcorn on tin foil or wax paper in a thin layer to cool slightly.
- While the popcorn is cooling, melt your dark chocolate over low heat until just melted. Using a fork, drizzle the chocolate over the popcorn. Let sit for ten or so minutes for the chocolate to harden.
- Serve immediately. Store any leftover popcorn a sealed container for two to three days on the counter.