Holiday baking-- whether it is trying to get rid of the abundance of seasonal Hershey Kisses that I bought or trying out a new bagel flavor, I am still in it full swing and loving it. However, I am sure there are a few of you that have put away the baking pans and mixers for a while. But with the next round of festivities just days away, I thought you would like to a have a fun and delicious no-bake treat.
This treat is certainly the love child of two popular treats-- the standard popcorn ball and the well-loved Scotcheroos. Mmm-- popcorn, peanut butter, butterscotch, and chocolate. Is there much else to say?! Not really, except that these little beauties are also on a stick. Good food, fun food-- it's all there.
The recipe makes 12 three inch diameter balls. They would be fun to pass out and share with a small gathering of people as you watch the count down on the big screen, or you can make them smaller for a finger size bite for those passing by the buffet/cocktail table as they mingle about. Whether you serve them casually or wrap them up as gifts, these will make for a "sweet" way to end the year with friends and family.
Scotcheroo Popcorn Balls
makes 12 (3-inch balls)
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 cup popcorn kernels
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups corn syrup
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
12-24 popsicle sticks
2 cups butterscotch chips
2 cups semisweet chips
In a large pot, add the oil and popcorn kernels. Cover with a lid and heat over medium high heat, swirling the pan until the kernels begin to pop. Reduce the heat and continue to cook until all the kernels have popped. Measure out 18 scant cups of popcorn. You'll want the popcorn to be warm when adding the peanut butter mixture. If made ahead, reheat the popcorn in a 200º F oven to warm and crisp.
In a medium saucepan, bring the sugar and corn syrup just to a boil, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar. (Do not overcook the sugar mixture. Doing so will make the end result to hard to eat). Remove from the heat and stir in the peanut butter; stirring until completely smooth. Transfer the warm popcorn to a large bowl. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the popcorn and mix until thoroughly combined. Form balls by pressing about 3/4 cup of the coated popcorn mixture. Transfer balls to wax or parchment paper. Insert a popsicle stick into each ball, pressing to ensure it's secure; let cool.
In a bowl set over a pan of simmering water or in a microwave, melt the butterscotch and chocolate chips; stirring until completely smooth. Dip the bottom half of popcorn ball into chocolate mixture; returning to paper. Allow chocolate to set, about 30 minutes. Store popcorn balls in resealable plastic bags or place in individual bags tied with ribbon for gifting. Enjoy!
Source: Adapted from Cuisine: Holiday Cookies