It’s that time of year again when we dust off our broomsticks and carve pumpkins. But what’s Halloween without some spine-tingling treats? Whether planning a spooky movie night or hosting a Halloween party, this Halloween popcorn mix will surely make your taste buds scream with delight. So grab your cauldron, and let’s get popping!
The inspiration for this monster munch mix comes from my favorite movie theatre treat. I like to mix together buttered movie theatre popcorn with Reese’s Pieces while taking in a flick. It is the absolute best combination of sweet and salty! Let’s do this!
What do I need to make this Halloween popcorn?
Before we embark on our popcorn adventure, let’s gather our bewitching ingredients:
For the coating, you’ll need:
- Unsalted butter
- Creamy peanut butter
- Heavy cream
- Candy melts (optional)
- Halloween sprinkles (optional)
We used orange candy melts, but green and black candy melts would be festive, too!
We recommend popcorn, mini pretzels, roasted peanuts, candy corn, and Reese’s Pieces for the mix. If you’d like, you can swap in other small candies instead: candy eyes would be fun and spooky, and M&Ms would be delicious! You could also use candy pumpkins in place of candy corn!
How much popcorn do I need to make 12 cups?
To make enough Halloween popcorn mix for a party, you’ll need to start with a big batch of popcorn. A half cup of popcorn kernels will pop into about 15 cups of popcorn, so you’ll want to use somewhere between 1/3 cup and 1/2 cup of kernels. Or, pop the full half cup and have yourself a plain popcorn snack with the extra!
How do I make this snack mix?
To make peanut butter Halloween popcorn:
- Mix the popcorn, pretzels, peanuts, and candies and then spread them onto two large and rimmed baking sheets.
- Melt the butter over medium-high heat, and stir in the honey and sugar. Stop stirring, and cook until the mixture smells caramelized and looks darker in color (more on knowing when this is done in a sec!).
- Remove from the heat and stir in the salt, peanut butter, and heavy cream.
- Pour the peanut butter sauce over the dry ingredients and toss to coat.
- (Optional) If you want to be extra festive, drizzle with melted candy melts and sprinkles.
- Let the monster munch cool so that the peanut butter caramel sets, and then transfer to serving bowls. You may need to break up some of the larger pieces.
Is this Halloween popcorn something my kids can make?
Children can absolutely help choose what goes into the Halloween popcorn mix and stir together all the dry ingredients. But since caramel can be a little finicky and very hot, we do recommend that an adult make and pour the peanut butter caramel over the whole thing.
How do I know when the caramel is done cooking?
When it comes to the texture of the final mix, you have a bit of flexibility with this recipe. If you want it to be crunchy and crispy like standard caramel corn, you can cook the peanut butter caramel coating a bit longer to the hard crack stage (about 300°F, but I don’t have a candy thermometer, so I just use the ole water glass trick).
If you want it a bit fudgier, just cook it until the soft crack stage (about 280°F). I like it this way because a lot of the elements are still crunchy—the peanuts, pretzels, Reese’s pieces—but the whole mix is a bit creamier. It’s a bit like a candy bark that way. Both ways work (although I would say the hard crack would be best for putting in cute little baggies and distributing as gifts). Whatever bakes your cookie. Or caramels your corn.
How do I store the leftovers?
Leftover Halloween popcorn can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature for up to a week.
Want more fun Halloween treats like this one?
Enjoy! Happy Halloween!