Cinnamon Popcorn Crunch Recipe

In light of my love for popcorn, I certainly can’t let this “holiday” slip by unnoticed! Jan. 19 is National Popcorn Day. That’s right, there is National Popcorn Day. And it’s easy to celebrate the occasion with this twist on a classic, sweet and crunchy snack recipe, courtesy of The Popcorn Board, which mixes in warm cinnamon and maple atop popcorn and nuts. (If you like the sound of Rosemary Parmigiano-Reggiano Popcorn, I marked this occasion last year with that savory recipe and you can find it here.)

To calculate how much popcorn you will need, keep in mind that popcorn kernels expand up to 40 times their original size. So 1 ounce, which is 1/8 cup or 2 tablespoons of un-popped kernels will make 4 cups (1 quart) of popped popcorn. 

Cinnamon Popcorn Crunch

Makes 12 cups

12 cups unsalted, unbuttered popped popcorn
1/3 cup chopped unsalted almonds, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup chopped unsalted cashews, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup chopped unsalted pecans, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine popcorn, almonds, cashews and pecans.

2. In a saucepan, combine butter, sugar, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, 1/4 cup water, salt and cinnamon; bring to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook until mixture reaches hard crack stage (295°F).

3. Slowly pour syrup in thin stream over popcorn mixture. Toss gently to coat evenly. Let cool; break into large chunks.

Tip: Add dried fruit, such as cranberries or mangos, if desired

Nutrition info (per 1 cup serving): Calories 250, Fat 13g, Saturated Fat 6g, Cholesterol 20mg, Sodium 290mg, Carbohydrate 31g, Fiber 2g, Sugars 19g, Protein 3g

Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.