Certain foods are reminiscent for me with certain occasions. We try to get down to NYC a a few times a year, including an annual trip at Christmastime. We enjoy seeing all the holiday decorations, having a meal at some of our favorite eateries, and browsing in the shops. It’s a fun trip that we look forward to every year.
We have several specific places that we always include when we go to the city, whether it’s holiday season or not; Rockefeller Center, Fifth Avenue, Times Square, and of course no trip would be complete without a stop for snacks to enjoy on the train ride home.
Back when we were able to eat dairy, we always stopped at a gourmet popcorn shop that made all different varieties of specialty popcorn. Our favorite flavor was a lightly sweetened kettle corn with a peanut butter and white chocolate drizzle. It had great big chunks of white chocolate and peanut butter flavored candy coating. It was delicious, but unfortunately was made with milk. After we stopped eating dairy, we’d find alternative snacks that we could eat on the ride home. They were good, but we never forgot that special popcorn!
We were at a country fair recently and of course wanted to treat ourselves to some “fair food”. There was a local vendor making fresh kettle corn. It was made with good quality organic popcorn & was gluten & dairy-free; a win-win as far as we were concerned! The sweet, heavenly scent pulled us right over and we bought a great big bag to snack on as we walked around the fair. We were hasty, caught up in the moment, and bought the biggest bag available! Our eyes were definitely bigger than our stomachs!
We were left with a pretty good sized bag of kettle corn to take home, unfortunately it’s never as good at home, once you’re out of the fun fair environment. I don’t like to waste food, but don’t want to eat something just because it’s there and needs to be eaten up!
Looking at that great big bag of half-eaten kettle corn on my kitchen counter reminded me of the old peanut butter popcorn we used to enjoy on the train, and I was inspired to try making a dairy-free version. After a little experimenting with the ratio of peanut butter to cacao, I came up with a version that to me is a delicious reminder of all those special trips to the city!
Peanut Butter Drizzled Kettle Corn
This is a sweet treat that makes a nice addition to a dessert buffet or a great gift idea for a sweet-loving snacker! Simply fill a mason jar or other airtight container and tie with a pretty bow!
1/2cup plus 1/5cup cacao butter, divided (I used Navitas Organics)
2 Tbs natural peanut butter (I used Whole Foods 365 brand)
8 cups kettle corn (I used what I had leftover from the fair, use your favorite gluten-free, dairy-free brand, Boom-Chicka-Pop is a tasty brand)
In a small saucepan over low heat melt 1/2 cup cacao butter until melted, stir in 2 Tbs peanut butter until smooth & incorporated. Remove from heat and pour into a glass measuring cup or glass bowl to cool.
Clean pan and melt remaining 1/4 cup cacao butter. Pour into another small glass bowl to cool.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread popcorn on lined baking sheet, leaving no large spaces.
Once melted peanut butter cacao mixture is cooled a little and slightly thicker (about 5-10 minutes) drizzle 1/2 over popcorn. Next, drizzle melted cacao over popcorn.
Refrigerate for about 10 minutes or until drizzle has hardened.
Remove from refrigerator, turn over larger clusters of popcorn. Drizzle with remaining. Peanut butter cacao mixture and return to refrigerator to fully harden. Break up larger clusters, put into a large bowl & enjoy! Makes enough for 4-6 servings
Prep Notes: this recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan