Popcorn dream bars are an homage to the classic dream bar, also known as the 7-layer-bar, with popcorn in place of the graham cracker crumbs. Dream bars are, in my mind, timeless and beloved. I wanted to combine them with another love of mine: popcorn.
These popcorn dream bars are kind of like fancy gourmet popcorn in bar form. Growing up, I loved having gourmet popcorn tins each year around the holidays. There is something so festive and nostalgic about them, and I still get excited whenever I see them! Popcorn dream bars are cozy and flavorful and super easy to whip up.
This recipe for popcorn dream bars includes two types of caramel, but fear not because they are fairly standard and quick to whip up! Feel free to experiment with additional spices or flavors for these bars, but this recipe is a reliable starting point! Popcorn dream bars will always deliver.
for the caramel
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter
- ½ cup granulated sugar
for the almond butter caramel
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- 1 tablespoon water
for the popcorn + assembly
- 2 cups of popped popcorn (I prefer to pop it in refined coconut oil as I find it accentuates the flavor and is also delicious!)
- ½ cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- ¼ cup shredded coconut
Line a 13 x 9 baking dish with parchment paper. Cover with a layer of popcorn and flatten as evenly as possible.
Make the caramel: melt the butter in a pot and add sugar. Heat to 300°F using a candy thermometer, stirring constantly. Immediately drizzle over popcorn.
Sprinkle chopped chocolate over caramel, reserving some for the top, followed by sliced almonds.
Make the almond butter caramel: place almond butter, sugar, and water in the pot that you made the classic caramel in. Mix constantly until it begins to thicken which will happen fairly quickly, in a matter of 3 minutes or so. Drizzle over the bars then add the remaining chocolate and the coconut.