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Brown ceramic bowl filled with 6 popcorn bars, a bowl of popcorn in the background.

Popcorn Bars

These popcorn bars are such an easy recipe, made with a quick honey caramel they are nut-free, fun to eat and perfect for the lunchbox.
5 from 5 votes
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Course: Snack
Cuisine: Western
Keyword: Popcorn bars, popcorn bar,
Servings: 12 bars
Calories: 53kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Popcorn 35g This is popped popcorn
  • 30 g butter
  • 80 ml honey One third of a cup
  • 1 tsp vanilla 5ml
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds 9g (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp hemp seeds 18g (optional)

Instructions

  • If you are not using pre-made popcorn you will need to pop your popcorn kernels. Follow the packet directions or you can learn how I pop my popcorn on the stovetop in my cinnamon popcorn recipe. Line a small square/rectangular cake or loaf tin with baking paper.
  • In a large saucepan heat the honey and butter, this will foam and will begin to darken in colour. As you heat the butter and honey will form a caramel, you will know it's ready when you can draw a spatula through the mixture and you will be able to briefly form a channel. 
  • While the caramel is boiling, use your hand to crush the popcorn into slightly smaller pieces
  • Remove the caramel from the heat, stir through the vanilla and then stir through the crushed popcorn and seeds if you are using them
  • While the popcorn bar mix is still warm, use a spatula to press the mix into the bottom of the baking paper-lined loaf tin or small square cake tin.
  • Allow the popcorn bars to cool in the tin. This can you can do this on the bench or more quickly in the fridge, remove from the loaf tin and slice into bars.

Video

Notes

Tips

  • Store in an airtight container. I would recommend storing the popcorn bars in the refrigerator, especially if you live in a warm climate. Out of the fridge, the popcorn bars will be crispy and crunchy, they will be softer and chewier if stored in a warmer environment.
  • If you don't think your kids will try the popcorn bars when they have seeds in them, that's ok, skip the seeds, or use fewer seeds, and gradually build up the quantities so they aren't put off by the seeds.
  • If you have substituted the salted butter for unsalted butter or coconut oil, be sure to add a pinch of salt to the caramel, this will really enhance the flavour of popcorn bars.
  • For a crunchy crispy bar store somewhere or in the fridge, for a softer chewier texture store at room temperature.
  • These popcorn bars are nut free so are suitable for school, popcorn can be a choking risk for young children so I wouldn't recommend them for preschoolers. My school-aged children take them in their lunchbox which is packed with an ice pack, and they love them.
  • If your popcorn bars do not set, this means the caramel was not boiled for long enough, make sure it has darkened in colour and thickened enough for the channel test, before removing it from the heat
Ingredient Substitutions
  • Honey: This can be substituted for maple syrup or granulated sugar. If using maple syrup the popcorn bar will be delicious but they will be a little softer and chewier as the maple syrup forms a softer caramel.
  • Salted Butter: Coconut oil will work as a substitute, if using coconut oil, add a pinch of salt as this will enhance the flavour of the caramel.
  • Chia and hemp seeds: These seeds are optional and can be left out. Other small seeds such as sesame seeds or flaxseeds could also be used as an alternative.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar | Calories: 53kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 20mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 23IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg