Old Fashioned Pink Popcorn

11.22.2011

I cannot express to you how excited I am to finally have found this recipe!!  Do you remember this popcorn?  My Grandmother made this countless times for us.  She would bring a recycled ice cream pail full of it to family gatherings, parties or she’d just have some prepared for us grand kids when we’d come to visit.   My sweet Grandmother passed away many years ago and I haven’t been able to find the recipe… until yesterday!  I have tried several other recipes I’ve found on the web and non of them produced the result I was looking for.  One of them even produced a wet coating similar to caramel corn (this is that amazing popcorn that dries and tastes like candy =).  If you, like me, ever ate this as a child then this popcorn will take you back in time.  There are so many memories attached to this recipe.  For those of you who haven’t tried it before, now is the time!  It is for kids and adults alike.  I’m pretty sure I ate at least half the bowl in one sitting =).  This is the perfect treat for a party, gift giving, holidays (as you can choose the color), movie watching and just any time you need a delicious addictive treat!  I hope you become as excited as me about this recipe!  You’ll be fighting for the flakes straggling behind in the bowl (those are my favorite =).

Old Fashioned Pink Popcorn

Old Fashioned Pink Popcorn

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup popcorn kernels, popped
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup half and half
  • 1 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 6 drops red food coloring (or any other color you'd like)

Directions

  • Pour popped popcorn into two very large mixing bowls, set aside. In a large saucepan whisk together sugar, half and half, corn syrup and salt. Cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly until sugar has dissolved. Heat mixture to 232 degrees, stirring occasionally. Immediately remove from heat and pour in vanilla and food coloring. Drizzle mixture over popped popcorn. Gently stir popcorn until mixture is evenly coated and coating begins to dry (you'll notice the popcorn kernels separating). Pour mixture onto waxed paper and allow to dry about 20 minutes. Store in an airtight container.
  • Recipe adapted from here.
http://www.cookingclassy.com/2011/11/old-fashioned-pink-popcorn/

87 comments

  • Anatomy of A Dinner Party: I love this treat! And haven’t seen it in years. Thanks so much for posting the recipe. I see it being made lots of times in our home for the holidays. You could even dye it in the colors of the teams playing the Superbowl – how cool would that be? November 23, 2011 at 12:52pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: You’re welcome! And yeah that is a great idea! That’s one thing I love about this, you can do any color you want. November 26, 2011 at 7:19pm Reply

  • Tonia: If this is the recipe I’m thinking of THANK YOU!! My friend’s Grandma use to make it for us all the time. I LOVED it. I haven’t been able to find the recipe either. I am going to try this SOON! Maybe even tonight. January 9, 2012 at 3:23pm Reply

  • Robyn: I love this popcorn–we always called it Circus Popcorn, I have no idea why. January 15, 2012 at 4:52pm Reply

  • Anonymous: Oh my goodness…. I’d like to both curse you and kiss you at the same time!!!! I have an obsession with popcorn, particularly the ones from the gourmet popcorn store down the street. Recently, I have changed my diet to all non-processed foods and thought my sweet treat would only be a once in a while thing. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! It is delicious! (and heck of a lot cheaper!!) January 24, 2012 at 7:36pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: Anonymous poster, haha Thanks for your comment! I laughed when I saw it when you said “I’d like to both curse you and kiss you,” it just sounds like something I’d say =). Anywho I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe and I agree it’s much cheaper to make the treats you find at a fancy sweets shop yourself. January 25, 2012 at 9:19pm Reply

  • Anonymous: What does it taste like? Normal Popcorn? Caramel Corn? Kettle Corn? Just wondering January 30, 2012 at 4:51pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: Anonymous, this popcorn doesn’t really taste a whole lot like any of the above. It’s probably closest to kettle corn if I had to pick one but I really don’t know how to explain it. Let’s just say it’s a must try =), it’s hard for me to stop eating it once I start. January 30, 2012 at 10:15pm Reply

  • Anonymous: i like this for my daughters Birthday party…snack!!
    is it sweet and salty?
    janis January 31, 2012 at 7:27am Reply

  • Jaclyn: Janis,it would be fun for a birthday party! It’s just sweet not salty, it’s basically a treat. January 31, 2012 at 10:17am Reply

  • Anonymous: I just made a pink batch for a Valentine’s party. Very good and festive! Can’t wait to see what the first graders think! :) February 3, 2012 at 2:17pm Reply

  • Anonymous: I made and while it taste wonderful – it never really dried to become crunchy. What did I do wrong? Or could it be weather – raining and high humidity? February 14, 2012 at 5:49am Reply

  • Jaclyn: Anonymous, I always used to have that problem until I tried this recipe, the difference between this recipe and the one I made before was that it has to cook to a certain temperature. So you may want to go a few degrees more if you did cook it to 232. Also, the humidity may have a factor in it not drying as well. February 14, 2012 at 5:07pm Reply

  • Michelle: How many cups of popped corn kernels? I was just going to use a bag of popcorn. Will that work? February 18, 2012 at 8:44pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: That should be fine, but I wouldn’t recommend a buttery kind. The site I adapted the recipe from stated 6 quarts of popped popcorn in the recipe. February 21, 2012 at 11:21pm Reply

  • Jen: i made this for my daughter’s 5th birthday today. It was perfect for the princess party, and I got so many requests for the recipe! Thanks for sharing. March 24, 2012 at 1:25pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: Jen – thanks for your comment! I’m so happy to hear everyone enjoyed! March 25, 2012 at 8:00pm Reply

  • Amy: I’m interested what your other recipes were like that didn’t turn out like this. A neighbor farm lady used to make pink popcorn balls but only on Halloween and I think she was the only one with the recipe. My dad is obsessed with them and would take extra when we trick or treated there and try to steal our popcorn balls to eat too! I would like to be able to recreate those pink popcorn balls for him. This recipe reminds me of cracker jack popcorn. So pretty though. April 5, 2012 at 7:15am Reply

  • Cooking Rookie: This is so pretty! April 5, 2012 at 7:43am Reply

  • Bethany: I was just talking to my dad and brothers about this over the weekend. I vaguely remember my mom making colored popcorn when I was a kid, but I was so young that it felt like it could have been a figment of my imagination. She passed a few months ago, so I can’t ask her and my brothers and dad don’t remember it at all. This must have been something like what she did! Thanks for helping me find my childhood. :) April 5, 2012 at 9:10pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: Bethany – you are so welcome! I’m so sorry to hear about your mother. I’m glad this recipe can help you remember her, it reminds me so much of my grandmother whom passed away. She would make this for us all the time when we were kids. I hope you really enjoy it! Have a great day! April 6, 2012 at 7:59pm Reply

  • Michelle of Chellbellz: i’m super happy I found this recipe! I think i may do this in different colors and make confetti popcorn. April 8, 2012 at 12:06pm Reply

  • Lucinda: Can’t wait to try this! Going to do red, white and blue for the queen’s jubilee in the UK!

    http://aspectatorsport.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/fashion-top-3-occasion-dresses.html April 13, 2012 at 12:14pm Reply

  • Lex: I have a question, Jaclyn! I don’t have the necessary equipment to know if I’ve heated it to 232 degrees. What can I do?
    Thanks! April 17, 2012 at 11:54pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: Lex – I would highly recommend purchasing a candy thermometer,you don’t need a fancy one so you can buy them for as cheap as $6 at a grocery store or super market. I just found that that was the thing that made a difference as to whether or not my popcorn dried, I had to heat it just to the perfect temp. Unfortunately, you can’t test it like you could with caramel and just to the soft ball test in ice water so my recommendation would be to use a thermometer. I hope that helps! Also, if you want another use for the thermometer if you buy one: caramel apples. Love! I make them all the time, you can find the recipe on my recipes page. I hope that helps, sorry I wish I had an easier solution. April 18, 2012 at 9:00am Reply

  • Victoria M: Jaclyn

    My husbands Mother and Grandmother made this often and I have been searching for the recipe. Thank You April 19, 2012 at 9:34am Reply

  • Carla: Great Recipe I usually order Flavored Popcorn online, but will def give this recipe a try, looks so tasty!!! :) April 20, 2012 at 7:08am Reply

  • Anonymous: This is awesome! My son graduates high school and I just tried a batch using wilton icing coloring instead of just food coloring. I am aiming for a darker blue and am afraid regular food coloring would make a light blue. What is your experience with making darker colors? Any suggestions? April 27, 2012 at 11:04am Reply

  • Jaclyn: Anonymous – I’ve only made lighter more pastel colors in the past just using regular food color but I think the wilton gel colors would probably be your best bet to achieve a darker color. I noticed thats what was used to achieve these dark colors over at this site:
    http://www.theyummylife.com/blog/2011/03/155/Homemade+Microwave+Colored+Popcorn+-+It's+easy+to+make+it+any+color+in+the+rainbow! April 28, 2012 at 1:48pm Reply

  • Jonda: I am so excited to try this for my little girls 3rd birthday party. I made little treat cones out of scrapbook paper and this will be the perfect sweet treat to put in them! Thanks for posting it! May 10, 2012 at 12:58pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: Jonda – That is such a fun idea! You’re welcome and thanks for your comment! May 10, 2012 at 9:34pm Reply

  • Anonymous: ok i’ve made this two times and it taste great, the only problem i’m having is it’s to sticky. the picture looks dry. what am i doing wrong? thanks May 29, 2012 at 6:10pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: Anonymous – I always had that problem with a previous pink popcorn recipe then I found this one and heated it to an exact temperature and it’s turned out dry every time. So possibly the temp is the problem? Do you heat it to exactly 232 degrees? Also you should notice it to start drying when your stirring it after coating. I hope that helps! May 30, 2012 at 10:43am Reply

  • Hana candelaria: We made this yesterday, using watermelon flavoring instead of vanilla. It was still too sticky despite proper temp and 20 minute wait. So i spread it out onto cookie sheet and baked at 300 for 15 minutes, then another 15 minutes after a little stirring. It came out perfect and delicious. So thx very much for sharing the recipe, which gave us the idea to package up some pink popcorn treats for granddaughter’s upcoming b’day party:) June 3, 2012 at 11:31am Reply

  • Jaclyn: Hana candelaria – Thank you thank you for your comment! I’ve had several people ask why their popcorn doesn’t dry (it may be due to different humidity levels where people live)your comment is the perfect answer! I don’t know why I didn’t think to try that, duh. That’s what you do with caramel popcorn that you want to dry and I’ve done it with a dessert chex mix that I wanted dry. Thanks so much for the tip! June 3, 2012 at 8:48pm Reply

  • Anonymous: what kind of popcorn should you use? the plain ones that come in a big jar and you have to pop it in a pot or microwavable popcorn bags? June 5, 2012 at 12:14pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: Anonymous – you use the plain popcorn that you pop in a pot or popcorn popper. Enjoy! June 7, 2012 at 10:44am Reply

  • Yvette: I love the Old Fashion Pink Popcorn. Great idea for a baby shower. Thank you for sharing! I am hosting a baby shower for my daughter next month and this will make a great party treat for my guests. Love it! June 24, 2012 at 3:43pm Reply

  • Anonymous: Can you please tell me how long this last. I would like to make some for party favors for my daughter birthday (so it will be sealed in plastic celo cones) but I don’t want it going stale July 9, 2012 at 1:26am Reply

  • Jaclyn: Anonymous – I always make this popcorn the day I’m going to serve it, I think it is definitely best the day it’s made. I don’t think it as good the second day but the first it is amazing =). Enjoy! July 9, 2012 at 8:49am Reply

  • Amanda: Hi, I did have the problem of having kinda soggy popcorn and the coating being a little chalky instead of that candy crunch. Have you ever tried heating this sugar mixture to a higher temp? Would it hold up if I let it go to soft crack stage? (I did bring it to 232) August 12, 2012 at 12:34pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: Amanda – while the popcorn definitely shouldn’t be soggy the end result should be somewhat chalky. I haven’t ever tried heating it above the 232, if you did go much above that you may get something similar to caramel crunch. I haven’t tried so I can’t say for sure. An earlier comment mentioned they spread it out on a cookie sheet (after coating, because theirs didn’t dry) and baked in the oven at 300 degrees for 30 minutes stirring once halfway through baking and they said it came out perfect, so you may want to try that if you are having problems with it drying/being soggy. Hope that helps! August 13, 2012 at 8:24pm Reply

  • marla: LOVE the pink!! August 24, 2012 at 7:16am Reply

  • Jenny Maddox: I made this for my daughter’s 3rd birthday this past weekend and it was a hit!!! I linked to you on my blog – http://www.themaddoxfamily.net/2012/09/its-pinkalicious-3rd-birthday.html. September 19, 2012 at 6:38am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the link! Glad it was enjoyed, this always reminds me of my Grandma and being a kid =). October 27, 2012 at 8:57pm Reply

  • Jill: I just made this for a baby shower. It came out really sticky. Did I do something wrong? October 26, 2012 at 3:02pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Jill – someone mentioned that before, if this occurs in the future I’d recommend baking it in the oven as mentioned in a previous comment. It may have something to do with humidity or cooking temp. I hope it turns out perfect for you next time! October 27, 2012 at 8:57pm Reply

  • Lisa Lercher: Just made 2 batches for a baby shower, had I made only one, there wouldn’t have been enough since I have been snacking a ton of it myself! YUM YUM! I was going to make marshmallow popcorn, but found yours. It’s delicious and not sticky and messy. November 10, 2012 at 11:31am Reply

  • Elizabeth: Made this for my daughter’s Pinkalicious 5th birthday party today. It was a huge hit! Will be linking everyone back here for the recipe. November 10, 2012 at 6:43pm Reply

  • Anonymous: This would be such a cute idea for a gender announcement for a pregnant couple, put the color pink for a girl, blue for boy, and put in a bag you can’t see thru… love it! November 17, 2012 at 3:05pm Reply

  • Anonymous: Please what is half and half. November 29, 2012 at 7:49pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: It’s basically just half milk half cream so you can even make your own by using half whole milk and half heavy cream. November 30, 2012 at 11:39am Reply

  • Rita Russell Elmore: Why isn’t there a Pintrest option???? November 29, 2012 at 7:56pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: There will be on my new site that will hopefully be launched by the end of December =). For now the best way is to use the pin it bookmark button, if you don’t have one there are instructions to add one to your computer on pinterest. November 30, 2012 at 11:38am Reply

  • Silverblaze: I don’t think I’ve ever tried this kind of popcorn. Your excitement over finding the recipe rubbed off on me. Now I HAVE to make it. Thanks for sharing! :-D November 30, 2012 at 12:24am Reply

    • Jaclyn: haha youre welcome =), I hope you love it! November 30, 2012 at 11:37am Reply

  • Anonymous: HELLO… I HAVE MY MOTHERS RECIPE BOX…. AND WE ALWAYS CALLED IT “SUGARED POPCORN”…. THANKS FOR REMINDING ME… HER RECIPE IS A BIT DIFFERENT… HERE IT IS..
    1/2 CUP WATER
    2 CUPS SUGAR
    1 TBL BUTTER
    1/2 CUP UNPOPPED POP CORN

    POP CORN AND SALT LIGHTLY
    BRING SUGAR WATER AND BUTTER TO A BOIL AND COOK UNTIL SYRUP REACHES 240 DEGREES ON CANDY THERMOMETER OR SOFT BALL STAGE..ADD A FEW DROPS FOOD COLORING TO SYRUP… POUR OVER POPPED CORN AND STIR UNTIL COATED… SPREAD ON WAXED PAPER 0R FOIL TO COOL..

    CAUTION… BE CAREFUL NOT TO GET YOUR FINGERS IN IT WHILE COVERING POPPED CORN.. IT STICKS TO YOU AND BURNS BAD..

    KATHEE ALLEN….
    December 3, 2012 at 10:48pm Reply

  • Bethany: Im planning on using this recipe for my daughters’ birthday party this weekend. I also need purple popcorn which I found a grape recipe. I can’t decide whether to just use this recipe and dye it purple or try both? (I need pink AND purple popcorn) what do you recommend? January 21, 2013 at 2:28pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You could do this same recipe and just use purple gel coloring (such as wilton), you may be able to get a decent purple with the drops but not sure. I tried blue once and didn’t really like the color from the drops. A grape flavor sounds delicious though too =). January 21, 2013 at 11:05pm Reply

  • Donna Yorke: Can you please tell me how long this stays fresh if I keep it in a plastic bag March 15, 2013 at 6:05am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I like it best the day it’s made. It tends to get a little stale the days following but I have made it the day before. March 16, 2013 at 8:33am Reply

  • Phuong: Hello, I found the recipe slightly sweet. Would you recommend omitting the syrup or only using half the sugar? April 18, 2013 at 8:28pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I would recommend using more popcorn then it will have less coating. If you start to alter the sugar coating recipe it likely wont turn out right. Hope that helps! April 19, 2013 at 9:35am Reply

  • Sharon: Thank you, soon is my little girls birthday, and I was looking for some ideas, over here in Italy they’re stuck with classic made popcorn, it’ll be a hit for my girl’s princess tea party :) April 27, 2013 at 5:40am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope it is! I’m yet to meet a child that doesn’t love this :). Happy Birthday to her! April 28, 2013 at 9:41am Reply

  • Anonymous: Thank you very much for this recipe. I’m going to try it out for a party this weekend. Im sure it’ll be a hit! Just wondering if I could keep this at room temperature for a few days without it going bad. Am a bit concerned since it uses half and half. Could you please let me know? May 6, 2013 at 9:30am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I like this best the first or second day as it does tend to become stale, and yes store it at room temperature. I hope everyone loves it! May 7, 2013 at 9:32am Reply

  • Christy: I made two batches last night for my daughters 7th birthday party this saturday, I made sure the temperature went to 232 degrees, I let it sit for about an hour then put it in containers. It was so sticky… Did I do something wrong? Should I try baking it on low? Help, I don’t want 10 seven year olds with sticky hands! :) May 8, 2013 at 9:57am Reply

  • Christy: OOPS just read the above post! I will try baking it tonight! Thanks! May 8, 2013 at 10:00am Reply

  • Bianca: Im in Australia and wanting to make this for my daughters cherry blossom 1st birthday. Just wondering what half and half is as I cant get this in Australia. What can I use as a substitute?

    Thanks May 20, 2013 at 3:06pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: It is something that is basically half milk and half cream so if you can’t find it just use a mixture of half milk and half cream and hopefully you have access to both of those. May 20, 2013 at 4:03pm Reply

      • Bianca: Thanks. Yes I have access to both of those. So for this recipe whats the half amount of each that I should use? May 20, 2013 at 8:48pm Reply

        • Jaclyn: For this recipe 1/3 cup milk, 1/3 cup cream. I hope everyone loves it! May 21, 2013 at 8:32am Reply

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  • darlene: Is the 2/3 cup popcorn popped or unpopped? November 6, 2013 at 4:50am Reply

  • Darlene: Made this tonight. OMG! Delish! It turned out perfect. Thanks for sharing this recipe. November 9, 2013 at 6:02pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for leaving a comment Darlene, I’m glad you liked it! November 10, 2013 at 7:32am Reply

  • Mummy, when I grow up I want to be… |: […] look by using washed out mini juice bottles and paper straws. 7. Your royal guests will love this bright popcorn, so easy to […] November 18, 2013 at 2:08pm Reply

  • Anne: Jaclyn, When I was growing up in the 60′s, we would buy blocks of pink popcorn. I don’t remember what the name was, but it was so good and I wonder if this is the same stuff. I’ve got to make this and see! December 12, 2013 at 10:21pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope it is :)! December 15, 2013 at 11:33am Reply

  • Nike: What does “half and half” mean?
    Sorry, I’m not American so don’t get the slang;-) January 19, 2014 at 10:02am Reply

    • Jaclyn: No problem – I should specify I forget out of the US people might not be familiar with it. It’s simply a mixture of half milk and half cream so you can make it yourself by combining equal parts milk and cream. January 20, 2014 at 2:53pm Reply

  • rawani: what do you mean by half and half? in the ingredients.. ? this is a fun idea for a baby girl baby shower! February 1, 2014 at 12:08am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Equal parts cream and milk, so if you can’t find half and half where you live you can substitute a mixture of half milk half cream. February 2, 2014 at 11:31am Reply

  • Movie Night Popcorn » InspirationENVY: […] a certain degree, much like caramel popcorn. Pay attention and don’t let it burn like I did. This is the recipe I used but I also found this easy 10 minute version which seems much easier and […] February 27, 2014 at 9:17am Reply

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