Early in our marriage, I would make caramel corn every week or two. It started off pretty simple and straight forward, but I wanted to switch things up so I started experimenting. I landed on a combination of chocolate and peanut butter in the caramel, plus a mix of Chex and popcorn, finished with nuts, chocolate chips and sea salt.
Of course our diets have changed and I went over a year without making caramel corn. That is, until I Googled “dairy free caramel corn” and was greeted with hundreds of recipes. I poured through them, found a few common denominators and combined it with my old reliable recipe, and that’s how this recipe came to be. It’s crunchy, sweet, salty, and an amazing treat that so many people can enjoy.
Dairy Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Corn (also gluten free, vegan)
- 1/2 cup popcorn kernels (or one bag of microwaveable popcorn) popped, unpopped kernels removed
- 1 12oz box Corn Chex
- 1/2 cup vegan butter or margarine
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1.5 cups brown sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 oz nuts like peanuts, slivered almonds, cashew halves etc
- 1/4 cup Lily's dark chocolate chips
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- In a pan on the stove over medium heat, melt the butter/margarine and coconut oil. Whisk in the cocoa powder to ensure all clumps are worked out.
- Add the brown sugar and corn syrup to the fats. Stir until just combined and bring to a bubble.
- Once bubbling, turn off the heat and add the baking soda and whisk in. Then add the peanut butter and whisk in.
- In a large bowl, combine the popped popcorn (with the unpopped kernels discared - very important) and the corn Chex. Pour the caramel over top and stir to gently to combine and coat evenly. Add the nuts, chocolate chips, and sea salt. Toss together to combine.
- Pour out onto the counter on top of a layer of butcher paper and try not to eat it all immediately so it can cool off. But if you do eat it all immediately, who's gonna know, really?