December 14, 2011 by Flora Dawn
We love caramel corn at my house and we always make a batch or two for sharing in December. This year I thought I would mix things up a bit, and branch out from the standard caramel coating and try a nice cinnamon popcorn.
Although quite a few variations of cinnamon popcorn exist, I decided to adapt a recipe that uses Red Hot candies. I must admit, I am probably so fond of this idea because those fiery cinnamon candies were a childhood favorite of mine.
This recipe is super easy, in fact the hardest thing about it may just be finding Red Hots. I seriously went to 5 grocery stores and ultimately found Red Hots at the Dollar Tree. Go figure. I know other similar cinnamon candies exist, but Ferrara Pan Candy Company (the maker or Red Hots, Lemon Heads, etc) do not use any gluten ingredients in any of their products, so it was really the brand I was looking for.
Although Red Hots are bit spicy, this Cinnamon Popcorn isn’t too hot due to the addition of corn syrup and butter. I typically shy away from corn syrup in baking, but I haven’t found anything works quite as well in these coated popcorn recipes.
The final product is crunchy, colorful, and full of cinnamon flavor. Unfortunately the color is more hot pink than red (which I think would have been more desirable this time of year), but it is definitely a fun treat to make at home with the kids!
- 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup Red Hot Candies
- Grease or butter a 9×13 dish or roasting pan. Preheat oven to 200.
- Pop popcorn in an air popper (I ended up with approximately 16 cups of popcorn). Remove any unpopped kernels. Place popcorn in a large bowl.
- In a small saucepan, combine butter, corn syrup, and Red Hot candies. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until the mixture boils and the candies are completely melted. Pour over the popcorn and stir to evenly coat. Place coated popcorn into the prepared dish and bake in oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Allow to cool, break into pieces and store in an airtight container.