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!

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. 

OUR LATEST VIDEOS

You’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)

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.  

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!

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.  

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.

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

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.

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.  

Try it and let me know what you think!

Print

Cinnamon Cookie Crunch Popcorn

  • Author: Sara Wells

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
2-3 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. Hurray, January’s month of healthy recipes (minus 2) is over! Bring on the fun Valentine everything! By the way, Saturday is almost here!

    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 🙂

  2. 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. 🙂

  3. 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.

  4. 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! 🙂

  5. 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!

  6. I want to make this for my kids to take for their valentines party. But I would have to have cinnamon oil shipped don’t know that I would get it in time. I live in Mccall, ID. Small town, not much to choose from in the stores here.

    1. Brenda, I LOVE McCall! We actually have a home there, I’m up there all the time! You can totally make it without the cinnamon oil. You could try it with a little cinnamon extract (maybe test a little before you do) or just leave it out entirely and it would still be yummy 🙂

  7. This looks awesome! I love all of your popcorn recipes. Who am I kidding, I love all of your recipes, period! And thank you for your disclaimers about almond bark! People are always sooooo confused when I mention it–does it have nuts, I’m allergic to chocolate, etc.!

  8. I recently experimented with a variation off your recipe from December. I did almond extract, whole almonds and almond bark and sprinkled with cinnamon. Enjoyed, but I now need to try this one. It looks so yummy!

  9. What a fantastic idea to sprinkle sea salt on at the end … Genius!! And for some reason I have several bags of red-hots … don’t know how that happens??!

  10. You are soooo right about the chocolate covered cinnamon bears at the BYU Bookstore! They are dangerously delish. They = celebration! I am sure that this popcorn will not disappoint either. Thanks for all your hard work on this blog, by the way. You add spice to my cooking life! I use one of your recipes at least 3 times a week. Hooray for Our Best Bites!

  11. This looks so fun! I was going to do your pie in a jar, but was nervous about it, for my sons’ teachers, but this looks amazing!

  12. Chocolate covered cinnamon bears were the first thing I did after coming out of the testing center. And Mars bar fudge. Oh to have a Byu bookstore in south Texas! I will be making this popcorn for my valentines this year, thanks!

  13. This looks so nice. And I just want to thank you for the smoothie recipe the other day. My husband and I are working on losing weight and have been drinking it almost daily. I feel great and he looks great!!!!

  14. Wow, I think you could soon do a small cookbook with “Popcorn Only” recipes. I’ve used the cinnabon and peppermint chocolate recipes; both turned out great and were greatly appreciated by my neighbors at Christmas. Even more amazing, one of my neighbors did the same thing so I got some back to munch.

  15. Cinnamon bears are so beautiful. I didn’t know there were other people like me out there. I knew I’d like this recipe before I even read it.

  16. Any idea how many of those mini oreo’s in the bag would equal 10 regular?
    I have bags of those and they crush super easily … In fact most of the time they come crushed 🙂

  17. I love your blog and all your recipes. However, because of the disease that my boy’s have we don’t eat gluten or dairy. I can substitute and get away with a lot (including soy chocolate); however, almond bark and white chocolate are seriously the only thing that I can’t substitute. How sad is that—so for us that leaves out the popcorn. But oh, boy, someday when I don’t have to worry about my boys (which let’s face it, will never happen)–I’m all over this.

  18. White chocolate works like a dream in popcorn recipes. I have a candy cane popcorn and even though it’s more expensive, I buy real whit choc and just melt it on medium power, a minute at a time in the microwave. It tastes so much better than almond bark, in my opinion and the real reason I do it is because of the hydrogenated oil. I am no health nut but I have been trying to stay away from hydrogenated oil. I think one of the first few ingredients in almond bark is hydrogenated oil. It’s worth it for me to buy real whit chocolate….plus if you can get it at a place like orson gygi in a large brick, it may not be that much more than the almond bark. Also, I too am a fan of choc covered cinnamon bears….try dipping your own. I did when I was making Oreo truffles this year…to use up the leftover chocolate, I bought cinnamon santas and dipped the lower half of them in chocolate then set them on wax paper to dry…..so yummy. Thanks for an awesome post! I can’t wait to try it.

  19. You can find chocolate covered cinnamon bears at Winco in their bulk foods. And they’re always fresh. I’m so excited to try this recipe.

  20. Okay, so where do you buy a big bag of red hots? I went to Wal-mart and the only ones I could find were with the food coloring in the little sprinkles bottles? I looked on the candy and seasonal aisle to.

    1. I just bought them at my local Albertsons in the Valentine candy aisle. Normally stores carry them year round in the candy aisle as well.

  21. Hi! I made the peppermint bark popcorn not to long ago and found that coating the popcorn in the almond bark made my popcorn loose its crunch and I would drescribe it soggy more than anything. It had good flaver but the texture made it gross after it cooled and everything. Did I miss a step or do something wrong? Thanks!

  22. Weird but I could not find red hots in Target! They did have Duff’s red hot sprinkles for much more $$ so that’s what I went for. I’ll go to another store and stock up on red hots for my next batch.

  23. Yum! Yum! Just finished making this for my visiting teaching gifts for the month……and I just might have to take something else so I can keep this all for me! SO GOOD!!!! There goes my resolution to lose weight! 🙂 LOVE IT! Thanks!

  24. Our family loved this! We ate the whole batch this weekend and I will be making another batch with the tags you have posted. I love your web site, love your cookbook and can not wait for the second cookbook to come out! You guys are awesome and I am so grateful you share all the ideas you come up with, it makes my life easier. You are two of my favorite people! Thanks for sharing!

  25. You guys are so so so talented!! and darling-i heard you speak at timeout for women in Layton, feb.4th, it was awesome. Thanks for helping me not feel so inadequate,yet when i look at your blog i still do…plus most of my kids are grown up. How do you do it all??? You are amazing and talented! Thanks for sharing.

  26. How far in advance would it be okay to make this? Does it hold pretty well?
    Besides the fact I already ate 1 batch haha I have to make some for the family valentine!

  27. Sara, can you use air-popped popcorn? I had to buy some off label red hots from the Dollar Tree after visiting Walmart, Target and Publix, without success. Hope they will be ok…

  28. I forgot, also had a small problemo with the choc chips. How did you melt yours. I had to try that twice. The first time, they “dried” out, so the second time i heated approx 15 seconds, squished the bag and tried to “string” it over the popcorn mix, it went OK, but i could’a done it better i feel, thanks again

  29. Loved making this! I also tossed in some valentines colored M and Ms (no ampersand on my iPad) just for looks and it was darling! Thanks so much!

  30. Hi Sara, I don’t know if you check old posts’ comments, but I love the chocolate covered cinnamon bears too! I discovered them at Winco in the bulk bins and they are softer than the Bookstore’s I think. You have Winco in Idaho right? Just wanted to share that with you :0) Thanks for all you do!

  31. My dad worked for Sweets Candy Co. and is actually the one who invented the chocolate covered cinnamon bears. BYU bookstore was one of their first buyers. It’s our family’s claim to fame. Ha ha!

  32. I have a big popcorn popper (like movie theatre type but not that big)..I also have air popper—what would you use? The popcorn popper needs oil of course and air popper just the kernels, not sure whats best in your opinion,,,THANKS!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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