Cinnamon Candy Popcorn – A Fourth of July Tradition

When I was a teenager, we lived in Lincoln, Nebraska.  There was this great popcorn store there called Colby Ridge Popcorn.  After all, Nebraska is known for its rolling fields of corn, so a popcorn store makes a lot of sense.  We would often spend our Fourth of July eating a mix of their red, white, and blue popcorn as we watched the fireworks.  I never forgot how the red popcorn was cinnamon flavored and absolutely delicious.

Years later, I ran into a recipe on Recipezaar.com by Pumpkie (that I can no longer find on the site).  I was excited at the idea of replicating one of my favorite Fourth of July memories.  My husband is actually the one who requests this nowadays.  He literally came home with a bag of Red Hots the other day and asked me to make this popcorn.  So here is the recipe for you and yours; hopefully it will be an enjoyable treat.

8 quarts of plain popcorn (I use an air popper)
1 cup of butter
1/2 cup light (not dark) corn syrup
1 (9 ounce) package of Red Hots candies (if the bag contains more, you can add up to 16 ounces and just have a stronger taste, which I like)

1) Place the popcorn in a large bowl

2) Combine all the ingredients except the popcorn in a non-stick saucepan

3) Boil for 5 minutes at a medium temperature. (I find you need to stir it often to break down all of the layers of the candies).

4) While it is boiling, set your oven to 250 degrees.  Also, grease two cookie sheets.

5) Pour over popcorn and mix thoroughly.  Be careful because it is very hot.

6) Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

7) Allow to cool, break apart and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

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