Is anyone else in complete and utter shock that Easter is only 10ish days away?!
I’m not sure what the weather is like in your neck of the woods, but March here in the DC area has been much more lion-like than lamb-like and spring has yet to really show her pretty face.
So, naturally, I’ve been having to cheer myself up with spring-y treats.
Nothing says “IT’S SPRING” to me like 2 things: the arrival of daffodils (my favorite!) and Peeps Popcorn.
I first discovered Peeps Popcorn a few years ago at this lovely little popcorn shop back home in Pittsburgh. My sister-in-law took me on a little field trip, made me try some (“ok, twist my arm”), and the addiction has been real ever since. Only problem is, they only carry it for about two weeks a year. TWO!
So, I wait all year for the two glorious weeks that I get to enjoy two of my most favorite things (my amazing SIL sends me a big ol’ bag of the popcorn every year — she’s the best. Seriously.) But this year, there was no more waiting on the Peeps Popcorn. Spring needed to show up prontisimo, so I took matters into my own hands and made some myself.
Now, I will admit, I didn’t exactly hit the nail on the head with the copycat recipe, but it’s pretty darn tasty. In fact, Anthony even said that he prefers it over the popcorn shop’s version. And this is a man who doesn’t “prefer” any kind of popcorn. Actually, he won’t touch any popcorn other than Peeps Popcorn.
…..and the entire batch was demolished the same day I made it.
The proof is in the pudding. errrr popcorn.
This festive spring treat is a lot of fun to make, and only requires a few, simple ingredients: popcorn, Peeps, white chocolate, and cooking spray. That’s it!
And look at this label. Nothing else makes my heart go pitter-patter quite like seeing GLUTEN-FREE prominently displayed <3
However, I feel that it is my duty to warn you: it is messy. In the very, very, sticky way. We can all look past that when we’re working with adorable little marshmallow animals though, right?
So it all starts with the popcorn (duh). We’re talking plain Jane popcorn. You can use any method you’d like to pop it — air popper, stovetop, microwave bag, brown bag — really, whatever tickles your fancy. Just make sure you use “natural” popcorn and not the buttered microwaveable kind! And actually, come to think of it, this might be delicious using the kettle microwavable popcorn!
My method: buy some popcorn kernels, grab a brown paper lunch bag, add kernels to the bag (about ¼ c kernels per bag, max), fold the end of the bag down a few times, set it in the microwave on it’s side, and fire it up for 1-2 minutes. Just make sure you babysit the popcorn, and stop the cooking as soon as the popping slows. I’ve found that popcorn burns a little more easily with this method, so stop the microwave a little sooner that you usually would.
And then ta-daaa! You end up with a beautiful bag-o-popcorn that looks like so ↓
The real fun of this recipe is melting the Peeps. I always imagine them crying out “I’m meeeeeelting” — a bit sad, but mostly hilarious. ← Um, wow, that makes me sound a bit sadistic. I’m not a psycho. Promise.
A very important absolutely-do-not-skip pro-tip for working with the melted peeps: Spray cooking spray on your spatula before you start melting the Peeps on the stove, and spray your hands very liberally with cooking spray before tossing the popcorn and melted Peeps together by hand. Please trust me on this one.
And a pro-tip for storage? Make sure you keep the popcorn in a tin or brown paper bag (if you have any to store at all, that is…). Plastic will make the popcorn soft and stale pretty quickly, so you’ll definitely want to avoid that.
Who would have thought that 3(ish) simple ingredients would make the most festive and out-of-this-world Easter treat?
If you need me, I’ll be elbow-deep in popcorn, staring at my indoor potted daffodils, pretending that spring has sprung. A girl’s gotta take what she can get, I suppose!
- 12 cups popped natural popcorn
- 22 Peeps, multiple colors (I used 4 colors)
- ½ c white chocolate chips
- Cooking Spray (or butter)
- Lay out a big sheet of parchment paper, and lay popcorn out in an even layer, making sure that all unpopped popcorn kernels have been removed.
- Heat a saucepan over medium heat, and spray liberally with cooking spray or lightly coat with butter. You’ll also want to butter or spray the spatula or wooden spoon you’ll be using.
- Working with one color at a time, add 5-6 Peeps to the saucepan, stirring constantly, until they begin to melt. Once you think they are fully melted, leave them on for one more minute. They marshmallow should no longer have any fluff to it, and should be thinned out a bit.
- Drizzle (as best you can) the melted Peeps evenly over the popcorn. Spray your hands with cooking spray and carefully* toss the marshmallow and popcorn together, helping to distribute the melted marshmallow evenly. Clumps will form -- that’s okay!
- Clean your pan, and repeat steps 2-4 until all desired Peeps colors are used.
- Allow the popcorn to set for 15 minutes, making sure it is all laid out in an even layer.
- Melt the white chocolate (microwaving at 30 second increments and stirring or in a double boiler) and lightly drizzle over the popcorn**.
- Let the popcorn rest for 30 minutes, or until the white chocolate is completely set.
** To drizzle the white chocolate, I put the melted chocolate into a freezer-grade resealable baggie, snip the very end, and pipe over the popcorn.