Fluffernutter Popcorn Bars
March 2, 2018 by Nicole Collins
We're wishing Happy Birthday to Dr. Seuss today!
When I think of Dr. Seuss, the first word that comes to mind is whimsy. He just had such a unique but vibrant way of approaching learning. Fun, fun, FUN!
I wanted to make an “inspired by” Dr. Seuss recipe for today in honor of his birthday. Now, the knee jerk reaction would be to make Green Eggs and Ham, right?
Well, it was for me anyway.
But here's the thing, I made a pretty delicious interpretation of Green Eggs and Ham that I really wanted to share today. Sam-I-am would've been really proud. And, his friend would've been saying “thank you, thank you” much sooner in the story had he had my Green Eggs and Ham. But, there was one problem.
It was SUPER ugly.
Like couldn't even throw some garnish on the plate to pretty it up...ugly!
I went back and forth all week about if I should just go for it and post it anyway. I mean, there has to be a Dr. Seuss like lesson about inner beauty somewhere in there. Cause, it really was yummy.
But ultimately, I decided to go back to the drawing board, make a few tweaks, and give it to you when it's really ready. I might just give it to you under a different title. But, we'll all know that it's really Green Eggs and Ham.
I did, however, have a plan B (which you should always have) that I think Dr. Seuss would be just as happy with.
Today's recipe has a pretty whimsical feel to it, if you ask me. Sticky peanut butter. Fluffy marshmallow. An unusual suspect of buttery popcorn. It's combining three childhood treats in one to make an old idea new. That's kinda what Dr. Seuss did if you think about it.
But let me note, I am in NO WAY comparing myself to Dr. Seuss. I'm good, but I'm not that good. Lol! I'm just saying, I think he'd be all up in these treats today.
So, what better way to celebrate the birth of Dr. Seuss than with Fluffernutter Popcorn Bars!
Let's talk about the fluffernutter part first. To my extreme surprise, I learned when I took these to my coworkers to test that most of them had never heard the term fluffernutter before. At first, I thought they were just yanking my chain. Gullible is written on the ceiling, you know. But after asking “no way” like 100 times, I realized they really had not experienced the joy of peanut butter and marshmallow together.
A darn shame I tell you!
So if you fall in to that category of not knowing about fluffernutter, that ends today. Peanut butter + marshmallow = heaven. Got it?
For our bars, think rice krispie treat, but with popcorn. That's right. I said popcorn.
I used a lite butter microwave popcorn for this. We want the salt and the lite butter flavor to balance out the really sweet marshmallow. That combined with the peanut butter really helps to tame the sweetness a little bit.
Don't get me wrong. These are still plenty sweet. I mean there's a bag of marshmallows mixed in here with another handful of marshmallows on top. How could they not be sweet? The popcorn and peanut butter just adds some balance.
To make these extra cute and totally whimsical, we top our bars with mini marshmallows and peanut butter chips. It's important you get these on the top before the bars start to cool, or else they won't stick. But really, could these bars be any more adorable?
The coworkers gave these a big thumbs up! And, I bet Dr. Seuss would too. This is just what it promises to be, a new twist on an old favorite.
I hope you love these bars as much as I (and my coworkers) do! Good luck not eating the whole pan in one sitting!
Enjoy, and let's eat!
Fluffernutter Popcorn Bars
Serves: 16 bars Print
8 cups popped popcorn
½ stick (4 tbsp) unsalted butter
1 bag (10 oz) regular marshmallows
½ cup peanut butter
1/3 cup peanut butter chips
½ cup mini marshmallows
Line a 13x9 inch pan with aluminum foil. Spray bottom and sides with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. When the butter is melted, add regular marshmallows. Stir constantly until marshmallows are completely melted down. Remove from heat, and quickly stir in peanut butter. Add popcorn to the marshmallow mix, and combine until all of the popcorn is coated. Pour in to prepared pan, and spread into an even layer. Top with peanut butter chips and mini marshmallows, working quickly and pressing down gently so that they stick to the tops. Set aside to cool for at least 1 hour.
Once cooled, cut in to 16 bars. Store in an airtight container with parchment paper in between any layers for up to a week.
*I used a lite butter microwave popcorn for this. We want the extra salt from the microwave popcorn in these bars. If you're popping your popcorn fresh, add a pinch of salt to the peanut butter/marshmallow mix.
*I recommend using a silicone spatula for melting the marshmallows and stirring the mix. They're pretty easy to clean with all of the sticky stuff on them. And, they're good for high heat sugar situations like this marshmallow mix.