Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Popcorn and Espresso Martini

Posted on: Thursday, October 25, 2012

With Halloween only a week away, we pick some classic horror movies, pop a big bowl of popcorn, and shake up some frightfully delicious cocktails to get into the spooky spirit. With favorites like Kubrick’s The Shining, Spielberg’s Jaws, and any Hitchcock film, it’s always fun to commit to getting completely freaked out. Sitting on our couch with the lights out, our hands over our ears to mute the screams, and blankets ready to shield our eyes, we often take the allure a little too seriously. 

To accompany our small-scale fright fest, we make one of our favorite jolting cocktails paired with amped up popcorn. Our take on an espresso martini is inspired by the delicious version we order at Lucca on Hanover Street. It’s a combination of vodka, espresso, slightly sweet Kahlua and a splash of velvety Baileys Irish Cream. While sipping the eerily dark libation, we nibble on decadent sweet and salty popcorn that incorporates two of our favorite guilty pleasures: peanut butter and marshmallow fluff. The combination of the nutty, sticky sweet crunch of the popcorn with the exhilarating zing of the drink is the ideal combination for any movie gathering, especially on a chilly weeknight.
Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Fluff Popcorn

1/4 c Vegetable Oil
1/2 c unpopped popcorn
1 c roasted peanuts
1/2 c honey
1/3 c brown sugar
1 c smooth peanut butter 

1 T salt
1/2 c marshmallow fluff
2 T unsalted butter

Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add 3 unpopped kernels. When at least one of the kernels pop, add the rest of the kernels, shake to distribute, and cover the pan. As the popcorn starts popping, shake vigorously to make sure the kernels do not burn at the bottom. When the popping slows to a few seconds between pops, remove the popcorn from the pan off the heat. Pour the popcorn into a large bowl to cool. Toss with the peanuts.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the honey and brown sugar. Bring to a boil then reduce to medium-low and let simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add the peanut butter, remove from heat, and stir until the peanut butter melts into a smooth, thick sauce. Pour the sauce over the popcorn and stir, making sure to coat every piece. Pour the popcorn onto a lined 9x13 baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with salt.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stir the fluff and butter together until smooth. Remove from heat. Dip a fork into the melted marshmallow sauce and wave it over the sheet of popcorn. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Makes about 8 cups.



Black Cat Cocktail (adapted from Lucca’s Espresso Martini)

1 1/2 parts vodka (we use Absolut)
1 1/2 parts KahlĂșa
1 part brewed espresso, cooled (we like Lavazza)
splash of Bailey’s Irish Cream

Fill a shaker with ice. Add the vodka, KahlĂșa, espresso, and Bailey’s Irish Cream. Shake vigorously, and strain into a chilled martini glass. Serves 1.


Now, what to be for Halloween...?

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