Something that I learned when I started dating my now husband is that I would need to learn a few of his favorite childhood recipes...and not mess with them. You see, I'm the kind of person that likes to master a recipe and then tweak it here and there to spice things up (or to use what's left in my fridge and pantry). That doesn't really fly with my husband. Just ask him about the time his mom used dark chocolate cocoa instead of the regular in his No Bake Cookies....she'll never hear the end of that...and it is her recipe.
But that all recently changed. Brandi and I were working on an event for Fashion Night Out in August where our client wanted a candy/sweets bar. For one of the items, we thought we'd try cinnamon popcorn - it's sweet, spicy, red, and delicous. So I did a trial run using a combo of a few recipes and found that the best version was a slight modification of my better half's favorite caramel popcorn. Oh geez...
With my husband being my usual "dude" taste-tester, I was ready for the comments about how it would be better if it was just regular carmel corn...yada, yada, yada. Nope. He loved this subtle twist on his old favorite and promptly requested that it be added to our football snack lineup. Looks like we've got a winner. Check out the recipe below!
5 qts. popped popcorn, unsalted
1 c. light corn syrup
1 c. butter
1 box (2 c.) brown sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. cinnamon (make sure it's fresh so it has the most potent flavor)
red food coloring (optional)
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Place popcorn in a large roasting pan. Melt butter in large saucepan, stir in sugar and corn syrup. Bring to a boil. Boil 5 minutes, stir occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in baking soda, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, and food coloring. Pour sugar mixture over popcorn mixture, stirring until evenly coated (it gets sticky quickly, so you want to do this rather quickly).
Bake in oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool, store in an airtight container.