This Old Fashioned Pink Popcorn is fun, pretty and delicious. It makes me nostalgic because it reminds me of Lucky Elephant popcorn.
HAPPY EARLY VALENTINE'S DAY FOLKS!
I wanted to post this tomorrow but I was just too excited to wait. So you get an early V-Day gift.
As you know I have been on a popcorn kick of epic proportions lately. I have two more saved up to show you. There's Turtle Popcorn, then Turtle Popcorn Gone Wild.
I could just sit and stare at this Pink Candy Popcorn all day. It's so purty and makes me all happy! And a happy Lunatic is a good thing for everyone.
This brings back memories for me. Big time!
You see, I am a Canuck, through and through, except for the hockey because I hate it and I know that means I'm a bad Canadian but I can't help it.
Anyhow, as a Canuck I grew up eating Lucky Elephant Pink Candy Popcorn. This stuff was such a treat. I've always been a big fan of the colour pink so I used to love eating this stuff.
If you have never had it you are missing out folks. A gazillion times better than caramel corn. I mean it's flipping PINK!
I searched for a recipe close enough to it and found one at Nan's Recipe Spot. There are tons of pink popcorn recipes out there but this is the one that drew my eye and I loved reading about her memories of it.
So, instead of using a source with no emotional attachment to the popcorn I chose to use one that had a personal story behind it. Thank you to Nan for the inspiration and the story behind your popcorn.
- Popcorn - You can pop your own popcorn or buy already popped popcorn if you prefer. Just make sure it has no flavouring if you buy it already popped.
- Sugar - Use granulated sugar for this recipe. Nothing else will work as well, in my opinion.
- Milk - This recipe calls for half and half or whole milk. Whole milk has 3.25% butterfat in Canada.
- Corn Syrup - Try to find clear corn syrup because if you use the yellow version it could alter the colour of your popcorn a bit. Also, I know corn syrup is a polarizing ingredient for some, but it's required in this recipe.
- Salt - Use table or kosher salt. Do not skip adding salt to this recipe. Salt enhances the flavour of sweets so only omit if you need to for health reasons.
- Extract - Vanilla extract is the way to go for this recipe. I've made it with almond extract as well, but I prefer vanilla extract.
- Food Colouring - When I first made this I used red food colouring. I've made it again with pink food colouring. Personally, for this recipe I like liquid food colouring for this recipe. I've found gel to be harder to control with lighter hued treats. Start small until you get the colour you want. You can always add more but you cannot take away.
How to Make Pink Popcorn:
- Pop your popcorn if making it from scratch. Or use store bought popcorn. Place popcorn in a large bowl or roasting pan for later.
- Line one or two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Combine sugar, milk, corn syrup and salt in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves completely.
- Adjust the heat so the mixture reaches a low boil. Using a candy thermometer, watch until the mixture reaches 230 degrees F, also known as the soft ball stage. You will need to stir the mixture occasionally.
- Once the temperature reaches 230 degrees F you can remove the saucepan from the heat and add the vanilla and food colouring. Stir well and allow the mixture to cool slightly. If you pour scorching hot candy coating over popcorn it can shrink the popcorn.
- Now you can grab the popcorn you set aside earlier. Drizzle the pink candy mixture over top of the popcorn as evenly as you can. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to stir it really well.
- Transfer the popcorn to the parchment lined cookie sheets and spread out evenly. It will dry best in a single layer that is evenly spread out, as opposed to dumping it out into one giant pile.
- Allow the popcorn to cool completely. If you can resist eating it while you wait you're a stronger person than I am!!
Tips for Making Pink Candy Coated Popcorn:
- Never pour piping hot candy mixture right over popcorn. Same principle as butter. If you pour if over while it's still boiling it will shrink and shrivel your popcorn.
- I used half the amount of popped popcorn as the original recipe called for but feel free to use the full amount.
- Originally I used yellow corn syrup as clear was hard to find where I live in Canada. Now I always use the clear version of it.
- Candy popcorn can feel sticky. If you find you didn't cook the mixture properly, and the popcorn is sticky let it dry in the oven under low heat for 30 minutes or so. That will solve the issue.
- Obviously if it's hot out, and you're serving this outdoors it's going to be stickier due to heat and humidity. Use some judgement and keep it out of the sun.
Storing Pink Candy Coated Popcorn:
- Store candy popcorn in a sealed airtight container in a cool, dry place. It can last up to a week but tends to get soggy after some time.
- Typically, I do not recommend storing it in the fridge. Cold can affect the moisture content.
- Also, I do not recommend freezing homemade candy popcorn for the same reason as refrigerating it. Moisture can mess with the candy coating a bit.
- That said, if I was serving this at an outdoor party in Texas when it was 110 degrees F I would likely put some ice under or around the bowl of popcorn to keep it from getting hot.
I hope all my lovely readers have a pinktastic Valentine's Day! I hope you are pinking happy! And I hope you all enjoy your pinkarific day with your loved ones.
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!
More Popcorn Recipes:
- Turtle Popcorn
- Parmesan Popcorn
- Rootbeer Popcorn
- Turtle Popcorn Gone Wild
- S'mores Popcorn
- Turtle Tailgate Mix
- Chocolate Cake Popcorn
- Cinnamon Sugar Popcorn
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Old Fashioned Pink Popcorn
- 6-Quart Stockpot for popping kernels
- 12 cups popped popcorn
- 2 cups sugar
- ⅔ cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 drop red food colouring more or less to taste
- Pop up your popcorn. I did mine on the stove old school style. Which for those of you who only do microwave popcorn means you pour some oil in a large stock pot, let the oil get hot, then place popcorn kernels in the bottom and cover with a lid. Then you wait for the magic to happen. Swish the pot around from time to time to keep things from burning and do not go too hot. You want a medium heat or you’ll scorch it.
- Set popcorn aside.
- In a saucepan combine your sugar, milk, corn syrup and salt. Cook over medium heat until your sugar dissolves.
- Now you want it at a low boil until the temperature reaches 230 degrees which is known as soft ball stage. If you do not have a thermometer you can grab a glass of super cold water, drop a little of the mixture in it, now grab that mixture with your fingers and if it forms a ball in the water then flattens out after it’s out of the water that is soft ball stage. You can probably find videos of this online if you aren’t quite sure what this all means.
- Stir occasionally until it reaches soft ball stage and then remove from heat, and add your vanilla and food coloring. Stir well.
- Now put your popcorn in a large bowl or even a big roasting pan. You want to have ample room to stir it really well.
- Now pour your pink mixture over top and stir well to coat.
- Now line a cookie sheet with parchment and transfer the popcorn to that to let it dry out.
- Try not to eat a boatload while waiting for it to cool. Impossible, trust me!
- Serve with a big old pink grin!
Thanks for visiting today!
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can i sub something for the milk? i need to make this dairy free.
That's a really interesting question. I would try subbing soy milk if you can have that. If not water might work. Are you making it soon? I could try a water version on the weekend and let you know how it goes if you'd like.
Hmm i posted at the bottom instead of replying somehow?
How cute is this! I'm subscribing for future updates! My posts are not practical at all, perhaps I need a new slant! X
That would be great! Id love to make this for my sons Valentines party 🙂 Ive never made popcorn of anykind, please let me know if it turns out! Also how long would this keep in an airtight container?
I shall try it soon since I'm out of town on the weekend. I'll let you know how it goes. It should keep for about 2 weeks in an airtight container. Honestly mine never last that long, we all gobble it up too fast.
Thanks for sharing this recipe! I have been looking for this. Thanks to Pinterest, I have found it a year after you posted it.
In scrolling through the comments I didn't see anyone discussing the corn syrup. White corn syrup is a nick-name for light corn syrup, aka regular corn syrup, which is the clear stuff. There is such thing as dark corn syrup which has a deeper color to it; some recipes call for specifically. If the recipe doesn't specify which to use, most likely they are referring to regular, light, "white" corn syrup.
jenny from NJ
Delicious - we made it as myt aunt's bday gift - she's a valentine birthday girl !!
There is light and dark corn syrup .. i think bywhite she said light 🙂
I tried it with water and it worked just fine! This week i will try it with Coconut milk so i can see which is better 🙂
It's like popcorn crack! Awesome! I used kettle corn instead of regular popcorn and it's AMAZING!!!
What is vanilla salt
It is just vanilla flavoured salt. If you don't have access to it just use regular salt. Just as good. Have fun.
oh i used to ove this when i was a kid what is vanilla salt where can i find it thank you
I hope you get to try this.
Vanilla salt is essentially salt with vanilla beans in it. No worries if you don't have it. Just use regular salt. It will taste just as good.
What is vanilla salt??? Never heard of it...and I am old..lol. Thanks
Hi Janet. It's okay, I'm old too. We'll form a club.
Vanilla salt is just salt flavoured with vanilla bean. You can make it yourself or some places sell it. But here's a little tip, the popcorn will not taste much different if you just use regular salt. I do that when I don't have vanilla salt made up. Works perfectly.
oh my goodness pink popcorn is a childhood favorite I cant wait to try this
While I do know how to make real popcorn, Can I use microwave popcorn?????
My boy is a Scout, so needless to say, I've got lots on hand.
Hey Di, while I've never tried making it with microwave my thought is heck yeah. I do not see any reason it wouldn't work. If you test it out let me know how it goes. I tend to always remind people to allow the candy coating to cool a touch before pouring over the popcorn. If you do it piping hot it could shrivel the popcorn a bit. Hope it turns out wonderfully!
As a young birl growing up in New Hampshire we loved pink popcorn made by Humpty Dumpty POtatoe chip company.We used to have a small share house at the end of our road.We used to go and help out for chips and things.His name was Richard.....Funny what you remember in life......That would of been around 36 years ago......wow ......
I think it's a lovely thing when food brings on memories. I always think of the circus when I have it as you used to be able to get it there. And fairs. Glad it brought back some memories for you.
Was just looking over the recipe and noticed it said ? Cup of milk....how many cups of milk does it need? Not sure if this is just showing up this way on my end 🙂
Cami I adore you. Thank you for catching that. I actually just edited this post last night with a new print recipe company and I must have messed up. So thank you so much for letting me know. The hazards of editing old posts. It's 2/3 cup of milk.
Thx! Can't wait to make it for my daughters bday!
What is vanilla salt and where can I find it?
Hi Ashley, there's a link to make your own inside the recipe. Just click it and it will take you to it. Basically it's just salt infused with vanilla bean. If you don't want to use vanilla salt then just use regular salt. Works just as well.
I made this yesterday and it was a big hit. The kids loved it! I made mine in pink and green. So cute together. Perfect for a themed party. Thanks for sharing =)
Yah Rebecka. I love hearing that people like the recipes. So happy you took the time to stop by and let me know.
I have this cooling on my counter right now! My family is going to love it for our Memorial Day Weekend... If it lasts that long! Awesome recipe! I might make a batch in every color!
Love it! Very sticky!!!! Y? Need to make for my daughters baby shower! But don't want it sticky! Photos don't look sticky! What can Ido???
First of all thanks for making it. Secondly it is made with a candy coating so it's going to be a tad sticky. If it's excessively sticky you have two possibilities, you may not have cooked it long enough on the stove or maybe your popcorn isn't fresh enough. I'd suggest you pop it a low heat oven to let it dry up a bit more. Try sticking it in your oven at about 200 degrees F for about 20 or 30 minutes. Watch it carefully though. That can help dry it out. Hope that helps. Ruemember to watch it like a hawk so it doesn't burn and adjust your time if need be. All ovens are a bit different.
Did you substitute anything or make it with the exact ingredients? Some people sub in things and it helps if I know which ingredient got swapped out.
Thank you Kim, will try the oven trick! Used the the same ingredient you posted! Let it dry for 60 minutes and was so sticky and just clumped together. Still tasted wonderful, but all stuck together. Going to buy a candy thermometer today! Maybe not cooking mixture long enough. Thank u so much! God Bless.
Hey Amy. Just saw this. Hope the oven trick worked. My thought is your not cooking the candy coating enough. But it is candy popcorn so it's suppose to be sticky. If you want it less sticky you could half the amount of candy coating recipe and see if that gives you a better consistency for you taste. I like candy popcorn sticky. It's going to be messy to eat, all candy popcorn tends to be. But overly sticky then there's some kind of issue. Maybe humidity. So hard to say. You should break up clumps as it dries. I usually take a wooden spoon and push it around and break clumps before it hardens. Easier to break up that way. Hope it worked. I love this stuff and want to try a different take on it soon. xx