I saw the recipe for these on Angela's blog over at Fixing It Fancy and decided to give them a try in this year's batch of Christmas goodies. They were quick, easy, and fun to eat! Mia even liked them! Recipe is here, but I've summarized it below.
Cinnamon Popcorn Balls
5 quarts air popped popcorn (1 1/2 cups unpopped)
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter
1/4 cup white corn syrup
1 cup red hot candies
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
Mix all ingredients except popcorn and baking soda in a microwave safe bowl. Cook on high for 1 1/2 minutes, stir, continue cooking until the red hots melt. Add in baking soda, mix well. Pour over popcorn and stir until well mixed. Form into balls or spread on parchment or wax paper and let cool.
Note: The original recipe says to put the popcorn in a paper bag, add the mix, stir, then microwave the whole thing for 1 1/2 minutes, repeating 2 more times. I skipped this, simply because I forgot. It didn't make much of a difference - I'm guessing I could have spread it a bit more evenly and had the syrup "set" a bit better, as I've seen for some paper bag caramel corn recipes, but I don't think it's necessary. The original recipe also doesn't include directions on when to add the baking soda, so I just added it after the syrup was all melted - not sure of its function.
Now I have a few large ziplocks full of cinnamon popcorn in my pantry and I get to smell the goodness every time I open the pantry door! Yum! Thanks for sharing, Angela!