We are definitely not knocking Rice Krispie treats. Nope, not us. We love them. All we are doing here is just borrowing the idea of them to make a similar yet extra yummy treat that involves popcorn instead of cereal. Why? Because, popcorn! And these are definitely not limited to Valentine’s Day but, since the people we love, love popcorn, we’re calling these Valentine marshmallow popcorn bars.
The method is the same whether you’re making these with cereal or popcorn. Butter and marshmallows cooked together to form a sweet, sticky syrup. Then you stir in the popcorn along with some salt because it just kicks up the flavor. You don’t have to add sprinkles but since we were making these Valentine themed, we tossed some in for flavor and pretty color. Stir it all up, wondering if you’ll ever get the sticky mess off your spoon. You will. Pour it into a baking dish and smooth the top, wondering if you’ll ever get the sticky mess off your fingers. You will. And then wait for it to set up a bit.
Most recipes call for you to spray the pan with cooking spray but we prefer to use parchment paper. It just makes it so easy to lift out of the pan in one piece before you slice. And, with that, you can pretty much be done here except for cutting it into squares. But where’s the fun in that, right? We’re very extra around here. So while the pan was setting, we melted some white chocolate and got more sprinkles ready. Each cut bar got dipped halfway into the melted white chocolate and then we tossed on a big handful of additional sprinkles.
As for cutting it into squares, make sure you work with a large, sharp knife. But also don’t stress if they don’t come out exactly perfect. That’s hard to do at home anyway and even a little more so given that popcorn has such an irregular shape. But nobody will care if the edges aren’t super sharp. They’ll just care that these are sweet and very delicious.
Line a 9" x 9" baking dish with parchment paper and set aside. Note that it's fine if the pan is a little smaller or larger. The recipe will still work but the thickness of the bars will be different.
In a large pan, melt the butter and stir in the marshmallows and salt. Cook on low heat, stirring often, for a few minutes. Add in the popped popcorn and half the Valentine's sprinkles. Stir until the popcorn is fully coated.
Transfer the mixture into the prepared baking dish, pressing the top down to make it even. Note that this is easier to do with slightly wet hands. Let it sit for about 10 minutes before cutting.
Melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave or in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Dip half of each of the cut bars into the chocolate and top with the remaining sprinkles. Store any leftovers in an airtight container on the counter for up to 5 days.
Share your creations with us on Instagram! Tag you creation with #dellcovespices and we would love to give you a shout-out!