Sadly, it's really hard to find - at least in the iconic boxes (I saw some unbranded pink popcorn in bulk today though!). I had all but forgotten about it when I saw this post on Cravings of a Lunatic which featured my beloved treat! Armed with my candy thermometer, freshly popped popcorn and a whim to make something both classic and modern, I began to take the whimsy of the original candy coating and give it a bit of a twist. Being that it was already different by being pink, I kept feeling like it needed a different flavour than just plain sweet. I grabbed a bottle of cherry candy flavouring (it was an appropriately "pink" flavour to me) and stirred it in, as well as using vanilla-infused sugar for an extra boost. To save space in my gift boxes (and for something new and unexpected), I processed the popcorn into crumbs before adding the candy. Spread out onto a baking sheet, it set overnight before I dried it out just a little bit more in the oven. You don't have to do that last step, but if you're going to store it for any length of time (or want to save yourself some seriously sticky fingers), it's worth it. Just break it up after cooling and you have yourself a hand-held taste of nostalgia!
We're almost at the end of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats hosted at Meal Planning Magic. Shocking, isn't it?
Pink Popcorn Candy
Makes about 615g of candy pieces, about 20 servings
12 cups (3.6 oz) air-popped popcorn
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup vanilla sugar
⅔ cup whole milk
2 tbsp golden syrup
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp vanilla
½ dram concentrated cherry flavour
3 drops liquid red food colouring
- Place popcorn in a food processor and pulse until broken up into small “pebbles”. Pour into a large bowl and set aside.
- In a saucepan combine sugars, milk, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium heat and cook until sugar dissolves.
- Raise heat and bring mixture to a slow boil. Cook until the temperature reaches 230F, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, cherry flavour and food coloring.
- Pour over the popcorn “pebbles” and stir well to coat.
- Pour onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and let stand overnight.
- Heat the oven to 300F. Bake the sheet of popcorn for 15 minutes, until lightly golden and no longer super sticky on top.
- Flip the piece of candy (it should be essentially a solid mass) and return to the oven for 5 minutes.
- Turn off the oven and let cool completely inside.
Total Fat: 0.4 g
Cholesterol: 0.7 mg
Sodium: 6.0 mg
Total Carbs: 24.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.6 g
Protein: 0.6 g