Chocolate Covered Cinnamon Bear Popcorn

Oh, chocolate covered cinnamon bears. You polarizing creature of the confectionary world. Loved or loathed, you never fail to start a conversation. Some people who hate you have never actually tried you. Some people who have tried you can’t stop eating you. 

I was one of those people who was grossed out by the idea of them. Then my sister Annie got me hooked on chocolate covered gummy bears, which turned out to be gateway bears. Suddenly I was skulking around department store candy counters and, ultimately, my university bookstore. I still can’t go back to campus without picking up a bag of the good stuff.

But alas, I can hardly even find regular cinnamon bears in Louisiana, let alone the chocolate-covered variety. So in the spirit of Chocolate Covered Cinnamon Bears, today we’re making Chocolate Covered Cinnamon Bear Popcorn. It is perfect for packing into a cellophane bag and tying with a festive ribbon for friend/teacher/neighbor gifts, or, if you want to up the ante, pile it into an adorable mug (Target has a whole bunch of super cute seasonal mugs like this one for under $5 right now), wrap it in cellophane wrap, and tie it with a bow.

chocolate covered cinnamon bear popcorn-9 copy

chocolate covered cinnamon bear popcorn-11

You’re going to need 16-20 cups of popcorn (that’s about 2 bags of microwave popcorn), 2 cups of Red Hots candy, 1/3 cup Karo syrup, and a cup of butter.

chocolate covered cinnamon bear popcorn-1

I also highly recommend adding some cinnamon oil. Without it, the popcorn is tasty, but not even a little hot. While I don’t want to burn my mouth, when consuming chocolate covered cinnamon bears, I definitely want a little heat. So. If you want a pleasant cinnamon candy heat, I recommend adding about 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon oil (like this):

chocolate covered cinnamon bear popcorn-5

Place the popcorn in a very large, heat-safe bowl and set aside. 

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil and grease or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine butter, Karo syrup, and Red Hots.

chocolate covered cinnamon bear popcorn-2

Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring very frequently, and then reduce heat to medium-low and boil for 5 minutes. Stir in the cinnamon oil and then pour over the popcorn,

chocolate covered cinnamon bear popcorn-4

stirring with wooden spoons to evenly coat the popcorn in the candy mixture.
Divide the popcorn evenly between the two baking sheets and spread in a single layer over each baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

In a microwave-safe jar or measuring cup, add 1 cup chocolate chips (I like milk chocolate, in the true spirit of the chocolate covered cinnamon bear) and some shortening.

chocolate covered cinnamon bear popcorn-6

Heat for 30 seconds at a time, stirring each time, until the chocolate is smooth and liquidy. Using a fork, drizzle the chocolate over the popcorn and allow to harden.

chocolate covered cinnamon bear popcorn-7

chocolate covered cinnamon bear popcorn-8

Break into pieces

chocolate covered cinnamon bear popcorn-10

and serve or divide into bags to deliver as gifts.

chocolate covered cinnamon bear popcorn-9

 

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Chocolate Covered Cinnamon Bear Popcorn


Ingredients

  • 16 cups popped popcorn (about 2 bags microwave popcorn)
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup Karo syrup
  • 2 cups Red Hot candies
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon oil (more or less to taste)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon shortening

Instructions

  1. Place the popcorn in a very large, heat-safe bowl and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil and grease or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine butter, Karo syrup, and Red Hots. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring very frequently, and then reduce heat to medium-low and boil for 5 minutes. Stir in the cinnamon oil and then pour over the popcorn, stirring with wooden spoons to evenly coat the popcorn in the candy mixture.
  4. Divide the popcorn evenly between the two baking sheets and spread in a single layer over each baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  5. In a microwave-safe jar or measuring cup, add the chocolate chips and the shortening. Heat for 30 seconds at a time, stirring each time, until the chocolate is smooth and liquidy. Using a fork, drizzle the chocolate over the popcorn and allow to harden. Break into pieces and serve or divide into bags to deliver as gifts.

Notes

  • This popcorn will be tasty, but it won’t have much of a bite without the additional cinnamon oil. 1/2 teaspoon adds a nice heat without being overwhelming (much like chocolate covered cinnamon bears), but if you’re very brave, try adding a whole teaspoon.

25 comments

  1. I made this for my friends at work for Valentines Day this year. Everyone loved it, wanted the recipe, and couldn’t get enough. I could not for the life of me find cinnamon oil so I used cinnamon extract. I used 3 tsp of it and it came out amazing. I also used about 2 1/2 bags of popcorn and it worked out great. I also stirred it every 10 min once it was baking and it helped to keep the popcorn coated more evenly. I also let it cool on wax paper that also seemed to cool it off faster. Thanks for this recipe, it’s a keeper.

    1. You probably could–you might need to check and make sure a) that brand is safe to ingest and b) what quantities they recommend. Cinnamon can affect blood sugar and stuff, so just check to be safe. 🙂

  2. My mom and I are totally obsessed with chocolate covered cinnamon bears so I have been giddy about this recipe wver since you posted it. But my town is not making it easy! I had to hit 4 stores before I found one that carried red hots (but I had to buy 10 tiny boxes. Lol) and everywhere is out of cinnamon oil so I used cinnamon extract. The first time I used 2 tsp. And the last time I used 4 tsp! And still there is just the slightest whisper of cinnamon. Like it is taunting me. Any suggestions?

    1. Crazy!! Have you tried ordering it online? I also saw cinnamon oil at our Walmart over by the Wilton stuff last time I was there–totally wasn’t expecting to see it. But yeah, if the extract isn’t working, I don’t know what else would. ???

  3. It’s a good thing I had planned to make this for giving, otherwise I would have eaten the entire batch, no problem! This stuff is good! And dare I say I liked it better than actual chocolate covered cinnamon bears??!! Shhhh.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe rating

Comments

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.