Cinnamon Cookie Crunch Popcorn

One of my favorite flavor combinations is cinnamon and chocolate.  During my college days, I spent most of my paychecks on giant bags of chocolate covered cinnamon bears from the BYU book store.  They are the BEST.  I had those flavors in mind when I set out to make a munchable-sharable-irresistible treat with those same flavors.  This sweet coated popcorn is studded with crushed red hots for bursts of cinnamon and crushed Oreo cookies for a crunchy crumbly chocolaty bite.  I like to top mine with a little drizzle of semi-sweet or dark chocolate and a sprinkle of sea salt.  This Cinnamon Cookie Crunch Popcorn is good any time of the year, but especially fun for Valentine festivities!

Valentine Popcorn in bowl

Ingredients for Cinnamon Cookie Crunch Popcorn

I’m a huge fan of red hots.  I personally think they’re totally unappreciated.  I’m noticing they’re not carried as much by grocery stores, especially in February, so if you have trouble finding them, try Walgreens.  My Walgreens carries them year round in boxes and I believe other similar drug stores would as well. 

Since we don’t want to break our teeth here, we’re going to smash up those candies.  Put them in a ziplock bag and then give them a good whack with a meat mallet or hammer or something. 

smashed red hotsYou’ll also need your crushed oreos.  I’ve found I get a much better texture when I actually chop the cookies up finely with a large knife (as opposed to trying to also smash with a hammer)

crushed oreo cookies

Lastly, popcorn.  You’ll notice my kernels here are large and round, and that’s because I use Mushroom Popcorn.  I just get it on Amazon! 

Making the Popcorn

I like to put all my dry ingredients in a bowl so they’re ready to go.  Add your popcorn, red hots and cookies to the biggest bowl you have.  My absolute FAVORITE bowl is this giant one.  It makes mixing popcorn recipes so easy!  It’s the same bowl I talked about and showed you in my recent Strawberry Rice Krispie recipe.

Then you’ll just pour some almond bark over the popcorn.  Almond bark has nothing to do with almonds, it’s simply white candy coating, similar to white chocolate.  

pouring almond bark on popcorn

One optional ingredient is cinnamon oil.  You can use extract, but be aware that like in our Peppermint Bark Popcorn, it can cause the mixture to seize. It’s actually not a huge problem, it just looks scary.  If it turns clumpy just pour it on the popcorn real fast and mix it all up.   Cinnamon oil on the other hand is stronger with a crisper cinnamon flavor and it will stay nice and smooth and mix right in so if you can, use it over extract. You can find oils at kitchen supply stores, or at craft stores near the candy making supplies, or right here on Amazon– that’s the brand I use.  I just love cinnamon so I like the extra pop of flavor, but I’m sure this would still be yummy without it!

cinnamon oil bottle

Drizzle on Some Chocolate

Once the mixture is poured on the popcorn and stirred well to coat it all, spread out the popcorn on a big cookie sheet that’s been lined with foil, parchment, or a silicone baking mat and drizzle a little chocolate over the top.  

candy popcorn recipe on cookie sheet

Don’t forget the Salt!

After that, give everything a light sprinkle of kosher or sea salt.  That’s a step some people skip on sweet recipes, but don’t!  It balances out the flavors and enhances everything!  Most sweet things are better with salt.  I like sea salt on popcorn recipes, but kosher salt works great, too.

salt jar

My favorite is the little chunks of chocolate with flaked salt on them. 

Sea salt on cookie popcorn

Cool and Eat

Let the chocolate harden completely.  I usually pop the pan in the fridge, or outside on a cold day to help it along.  When it’s all hardened, break it up into pieces and  you’re good to go.

popcorn mix in bowl

You get little bits of crunchy cookies and bursts of cinnamon candy all with that creamy almond bark.  It’s SO yummy and different and perfectly Valentine-y.  

valentine popcorn in bowl

Try it and let me know what you think!

valentine popcorn in bowl

Print
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Cinnamon Cookie Crunch Popcorn


Description

Sweet and salty popcorn mix with bursts of cinnamon candy and cookie crunch. 


Ingredients

12 cups popped popcorn, natural, or lightly salted works best
1 pound almond bark
1/2 cup red hot candies
10 Oreo cookies
optional: 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon flavored oil *see note
23 tablespoons semisweet or dark chocolate chips
kosher or sea salt


Instructions

Place popcorn in large mixing bowl.

Place red hots in a heavy duty ziplock bag and smash with a meat mallet or hammer to crush.  Roughly chop Oreo cookies into rough crumbs/chunks.  

In a medium sized microwave safe bowl, melt almond bark according to package instructions until smooth.  Add cinnamon oil to taste, if using.

Pour mixture over popcorn and stir well to coat.  Pour popcorn mixture onto a baking sheet lined with foil, parchment or a silicone mat and set aside.  Melt chocolate chips and drizzle over popcorn mixture. 

 Sprinkle kosher or sea salt lightly over mixture to taste.  Let popcorn mixture harden, place in fridge to speed it up.  When completely dry, break into chunks and just try to stop yourself from eating it all in one sitting.


Notes

*Cinnamon oil (available online or at cooking stores and sometimes in the baking aisle) works well for this.  You can use extract, but mix it in fast as it can cause almond bark to seize.  

66 comments

  1. I’m thinking that this has to be absolutely wonderful and what a different twist with cinnamon and popcorn, this is a must try very soon recipe!!!!

  2. I’m so glad there is someone besides me who just likes to eat red hots any old day of the year! They are a constant staple in my panty. This popcorn mix looks wonderful; I’m definitely trying it ASAP. Thanks for another great recipe!

  3. Can you tell me the difference between kosher salt, sea salt, and regular table salt? When you call for kosher or sea salt do you mean the big chunks or do you grind it? Do they give different flavors?

    Also — amazing recipe! We just got a letter from our school saying that the kids aren’t supposed to take any candy or treats with their valentines. How boring is that?!

      1. I should have looked for that first. Thanks.

        And yes, it is lame about our Valentines. We aren’t allowed to take treats for birthdays, either. Although that’s kind of ok with me because we have 6 birthdays in 6 weeks and that was A LOT of cupcakes to make when I was taking them to each of the classes and then making a cake for our family celebration and either another cake or cupcakes for their birthday party. Now I send in something they can use during recess as a gift from the birthday girl to the class and that is super easy. More than you wanted to know! πŸ™‚

  4. In the UK we call Almond Bark (as far as I can tell) white cooking chocolate/cake covering (fake white chocolate with easier melting qualities).

    But, I don’t think we have anything to use for the ‘red hots’. What is the texture and flavour, please? I bet we have something I could use instead in the shops, with a different name. Thanks!

    1. red hots are little cinnamon flavored candies. They’re hard, but not quite as hard as normal sugar candy- they turn kind of chewy when they start melting in your mouth. Hope that helps!

    2. Wilton calls them vanilla candy melts (which may be trademarked), I’ve also heard it called vanilla candy coating. In my store’s bulk section, the almond bark does have almonds in it (in either white, milk or dark chocolate), and is next to the ‘white chocolate flavored wafers’, which is what I’d use for this recipe.

  5. Dang! How do you guys come up with these?!?! Yum! I don’t ever buy red hots to munch on, but I am a big fan of Hot Tamales and Cinnamon Bears. This sounds yummy – what a great combination! I’m adding red hots and almond bark to my grocery list. Oh, and cinnamon oil. πŸ™‚

    1. No, for this recipe regular Oreos are actually better since it’s the cookie part we’re after and not the filling. That’s not to say it would be bad with double stuff though πŸ™‚

  6. Hurray, January’s month of healthy recipes (minus 2) is over! Bring on the fun Valentine everything! By the way, Saturday is almost here!

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