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Candy Popcorn

I didn’t find out until a day ago, that my 5th grader is having a Valentine’s Day party!   They have a field trip on Friday, Valentine’s Day, that and I just assumed 5th graders didn’t celebrate since my son thinks it is babyish to exchange cards.  Awww, where does the time go?  And, just when did my son think he is too old to celebrate?!  As a last minute contribution, I am making Candy Popcorn.  

Made with flavored gelatin, it is a breeze to put together, taking literally minutes to make.  It is so colorful and full of flavor, certain to be welcomed by his friends when they open their treat bags.

Candy Popcorn
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An update:  My son said his friends loved the Candy Popcorn and even asked how I made it.  He told them with cherry syrup and it was his idea…I’m good with that.  ~smile~   For the gelatin, I used Jolly Rancher and loved the intense flavors it added to the Candy Popcorn!

****WARNING:  The candy mixture is extremely hot and sticky and will burn easily.  Please use caution while making this Candy Popcorn.  Keep loved ones and animals out of the kitchen just in case.  Also, use a long handled spoon to prevent the hot mixture from touching your fingers.

Candy Popcorn

10 cups (1.2 cup un-popped) popcorn, popped
5 Tablespoons corn syrup
1/4 cup margarine
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 oz. box of your favorite gelatin, I used Jolly Rancher


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Line two 13×9 baking sheets with sides, with parchment paper. Pop popcorn.  Shake the popcorn so unpopped kernels settle to bottom.  Transfer popped kernels to large bowl (sprayed with non-stick spray)  that is big enough to stir without the popcorn falling out.  Spray saucepan.

Add margarine, sugar and brown sugar, stirring until margarine is melted and sugar is dissolved.  Add flavored gelatin powder.  Stir continually.  Boil one minute.  Carefully pour hot candy over popcorn, stirring with a long handled spoon that has been greased, to coat each piece. Some may not coat completely. Carefully, spread candied popcorn in an even layer on parchment paper lined baking sheets.  

Bake 5 to 6 minutes, checking to be certain popcorn is not burning.  Take out of oven.  Stir and let cool.  Break into pieces.  Package to gift or put in an airtight container.  Enjoy.