While dark chocolate earns a place on the healthy foods list thanks to its high concentration of antioxidants, marshmallows – pure sugar – will never make the cut. But if you’re aiming for “everything in moderation, including moderation,” then Halloween is the perfect time of year to indulge the devil on your shoulder with these diabolically good marshmallow dark chocolate popcorn treats. Plus, with low-calorie popcorn as the main ingredient, they’re much healthier than some of the other candy in your Halloween goodie bag.
Whether you hand them out to trick-or-treaters, display them at a party, eat them for dessert, or enjoy them on your own – these tasty popcorn bars are sure to bit a hit. And they only take 20 minutes to make!
Marshmallow Dark Chocolate Popcorn Treats
Makes 12 bars
- 10 ounces fresh miniature marshmallows (1 package)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 10 cups popped popcorn (see instructions below)
- 2 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
- Peanut or canola oil if popping popcorn on the stove
- Cooking spray
- Parchment paper
First, get your popcorn ready. While brands like SmartPop offer salt-free/oil-free versions for your microwave, the bags are coated in toxic chemicals – so skip it. Use an air popper instead. If you don’t have one – or if you want a crunchier, crispier product than the air popper provides, you can go old-fashioned and pop your corn on the stove. Here’s how: Add three tablespoons of canola oil or peanut oil to a large pot with a heavy bottom over medium heat – like a Dutch oven. Toss in three popcorn kernels. After they all pop, remove the pot from the heat and add in 1/2 cup kernels. Wait 30 seconds, and set the pot over medium heat again. Cover with a lid, but leave it ajar so that steam can escape. Give the pot a gentle shake occasionally, until the popping slows to every 1-2 seconds. Transfer immediately to a large bowl and season with salt if desired.
Now that your popcorn is ready, prep your pan. Coat an 8” square baking pan with cooking spray, and line it with parchment paper so that the paper extends past the edges of the pan. Spray the top of the paper too.
In a Dutch oven over medium heat, stir together your marshmallows, salt and butter until smooth and melted – you’ll need to stir it constantly. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in your popcorn (gently) until everything is well coated and mixed.
Pour the popcorn mixture into your prepped baking pan. Use a spray-coated piece of parchment paper to help you press everything in.
Melt your dark chocolate in a double-boiler on the stove top over low heat. Drizzle the chocolate over the popcorn mixture with a spoon.
Refrigerate for five minutes. Lift the popcorn mixture out of the pan, and cut into 12 bars. Your marshmallow dark chocolate popcorn treats are ready to devour!
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Popcorn image via Shutterstock