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Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Popcorn Bars

Squares of Chocolate Chip & Peanut Butter Popcorn Bars on a napkin

I know you’re thinking it’s weird to put popcorn on top of a cookie bar.

Sometimes you have to trust me, which I know it totally a sketchy thing to do…trust some random lady on the internet who is trying to fill you full of calories and nonsense.

But stick with me just a second.

I know the internet can fill your brain up with ideas you really want to be true, but aren’t.   I mean, I want to live in a world where dogs dance salsa

Anyhow.

These bars are no eagle swooping down and snatching a baby.  They are the reallll deallll.

A stack of chocolate chip and peanut butter popcorn bars

Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Popcorn Bars.
There are a few steps to these, yes, but it’s worth it..and trust me, nothing is complicated.

I decided to make these bars while I was taking part in a fun webinar a few weeks ago hosted by Land O’Lakes® and The Pioneer Woman. The talk of the day was about new food trends coming up in 2013, as well as the new Land O’Lakes® Butter in Half Sticks, which solves a world of problems for those of you who don’t use butter by the poundful 🙂

Anyhow, the webinar also included some fun panelists…girls I totally adore…Julie from The Little Kitchen, Sommer from A Spicy Perspective, Maria from Two Peas and Their Pod and Brenda from A Farmgirls Dabbles.

The panelists, along with Ree, each introduced a food trend for 2013. And well, since Maria and I are long lost soul mates, she chose popcorn. She speaks to my soul.

I decided to jump on the popcorn bandwagon and spin it in a different direction. That’s how these bars came to life.

Chocolate chip cookie dough spread in a 9x13 baking dish

And since good things start with a chocolate chip cookie base, that’s where we’ll begin…
Whip up some cookie dough and bake it for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile grab a bag of popcorn, or pop your own.

Yellow bag of Angie's sweet and salty kettle corn
Popcorn coated with peanut butter sauce in a mixing bowl

I opted for my new addiction, this Sweet and Salty Kettle Corn from a brand called Angie’s. I am literally obsessed with this stuff. Ob. Sessed.
Next up, melt some butter, peanut butter and corn syrup together and coat a few cups of popcorn. Set that aside.

Mini marshmallows over a cookie base in a baking pan
Peanut butter popcorn over marshmallow and cookie layers in a baking pan

When the cookie is done, take it out and sprinkle it with mini marshmallows. Pop that back in the oven for just a few minutes until the marshmallows puff up.

Then immediately spread the coated popcorn evenly all over the warm marshmallows, pressing them lightly to stick.

I drizzled some melted chocolate all over that and let it cool completely. It actually took a few hours to cool down until I could cut it.

A partial pan of chocolate chip and peanut butter popcorn bars

Then dive in. Mouth first.

Print
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Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Popcorn Bars


Description

makes 36 bars


Ingredients

Scale

Cookie base

  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Filling

  • 4 cups mini marshmallows

Popcorn topping

  • 4 cups popped popcorn, or kettle corn
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup corn syrup
  • 1 1/4 cups peanut butter
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips for drizzle

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray

Cookie base

  1. Cream butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes
  2. Turn mixer to low and add in eggs and vanilla. Turn mixer back up to medium until evenly incorporated.
  3. Turn mixer back down to low and add in baking soda, salt and flour. Mix until just combined.
  4. Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips.
  5. Press dough evenly into prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes or until edges are golden.

Popcorn Topping

  1. While cookie is baking, mix corn syrup, butter and peanut butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir until smooth and mixture is heated through. Remove from heat and stir in popcorn, coating it completely and evenly. Set aside.

FIlling

  1. When cookie is done baking, remove from oven and immediately sprinkle marshmallows evenly on top. Place back in oven for 2-3 minutes until marshmallows are puffed, but not browned.
  2. Remove from oven and immediately spread the popcorn mixture on top of the marshmallows, pressing gently so the popcorn sticks into the marshmallows.
  3. In a microwave safe bowl, or zip-top bag, melt your remaining chocolate chips and drizzle over top.
  4. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.

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45 comments on “Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Popcorn Bars”

  1. OMG, so good! I brought a few to work and they were all gone within 5 minutes. Thank you for recipe; I’m adding it to my favourites.

    1. I wouldn’t recommend freezing these, as the popcorn would get very chewy and most likely shrivel up.

  2. These look fantastic! And thanks for sharing that eagle video. It had my husband and I both laughing. And also a little horrified.

  3. First of all, these look ah-maze-ing! I wonder if I could skip the peanut butter process and just use the carmel corn that’s in my pantry. Do you think the bars would be dry?

  4. Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies

    I’ve been dreaming of these ever since I saw that photo on Instagram. I’m glad popcorn is a new trend, because it’s been trending at my house for years now! This recipe is TOTALLY happening. The sooner the better!

  5. The Goodie Girl

    Wow! Yes to all three layers – they look meant to be together all on one bar! How did you come up with these? Can’t wait to try them myself!

  6. I can always count on you to stick deliciously decadent deserts together in new and creative(ly insane) ways.

  7. Kelly Senyei | Just a Taste

    Oh my word! The salty, the sweet, the crunchy, the chewy — this recipe has got it all!

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