If you’re wanting a spicy yet sweet snack, this popcorn will fit the bill. A striking color, and a kick of a flavor this will remind you of the beloved cinnamon bears, but this is allergy-friendly! A no-bake snack that’s as easy as melt and pour. This is free of: gluten, dairy, egg, soy, peanut and tree nuts. This is top-8-free as well as vegan.
Do you ever find candy in your pantry and think…when did I buy that? Or, is that just me, and my sugar addiction showing up? This happened to me the other day when I found a box of Hot Tamales in my pantry. Not one to ask questions, or complain, I dove right in. I just took it as a sign that they were supposed to be there.
As of lately, my oldest has been all about popcorn. I’m usually a mean mom that just gives it to him plain. I don’t trust store bought brands, and I am often too lazy to melt some coconut oil on it.
I then realized I could combine the cinnamon candies and popcorn to make a festive and fun Valentine’s Day treat. I wanted something that was no-bake; and this was an easy melt-and-pour recipe that even my toddler helped me make (see my Insta story for it!).
While I do like the cinnamon candies, I do have a confession. I’m such a baby when it comes to hot stuff. With regular Mike and Ikes I can eat an entire box all by myself. But, for good and bad, I can only eat a few Hot Tamales at a time. So, diluting it with some marshmallows, spreading it around popcorn and covering it with chocolate fit the bill perfectly for my preferred level of hotness. If you like things hotter, use less popcorn so it’s doused in the sauce more.
The only caution I would give regarding this recipe is that the candies take quite awhile to melt. You might be tempted to up the temperature, but don’t–just give it around 10 minutes and be patient.
I’m excited for my son to get home from his very first Valentine’s day party (sniff, sniff) and show him this fun treat that I made. We put together his Valentine’s this morning and it felt a little surreal. How is he this old?? #MothersDenial Seriously, wasn’t this just last month and not several years ago? Good thing I have a fresh treat to drown my sorrows in.
Speaking of his party, I spoke to his teacher, worried about what sugar cookie confection she might do, and I was so relieved and pleased to find out she was just buying fruit and having them cut out heart shapes. BLESS HER HEART. I’m so grateful she’s doing something that my son can have and that is naturally allergy-friendly. Phew. One year down…a bunch more years to go!
Also, if you need a last minute list of allergy-friendly Valentine’s candy to buy, check out this post from last year:
Enjoy this stick-to-your-teeth sweet treat! Have a great and safe Valentine’s this year!
Allergy-friendly Cinnamon Chocolate Popcorn (Gluten, dairy, egg, soy, peanut & tree nut free; top-8-free; vegan)
If you're wanting a spicy yet sweet snack, this popcorn will fit the bill. A striking color, and a kick of a flavor this will remind you of the beloved cinnamon bears, but this is allergy-friendly! A no-bake snack that's as easy as melt and pour. This is free of: gluten, dairy, egg, soy, peanut and tree nuts. This is top-8-free as well as vegan.
- 2 Tablespoons vegan butter
- 3 Tablespoons corn syrup
- One 5. oz box Hot Tamales
- 1 cup mini marshmallows (if vegan, use appropriate brands of marshmallows)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 6 cups plain popped popcorn
- 1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate (Enjoy Life, Pascha or No Whey for example)
- 1 teaspoon dairy-free and soy-free shortening
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pop popcorn and lay flat on the parchment paper.
- In a medium sized non-stick pan, melt the vegan butter on medium-low heat. Add the corn syrup, candies and marshmallows.
- Cooking stirring frequently until the candies have melted. This will take around ten minutes. I liked using a heat-proof spatula, so that I could be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan while I stirred.
- The mixture will be crazy sticky. Remove it from heat and stir in baking soda.
- Pour the mixture over the popcorn, and stir to completely coat the popcorn. I found that it didn't pour very easily, so I poured about half of it on the popcorn, and then tossed the popcorn in the pan to make sure it all got coated well. Do whatever helps you spread it.
- Let it cool.
- While it cools, take the dairy-free chocolate and shortening and microwave for 30 seconds at a time, until it is completely melted and smooth when stirred. Drizzle the chocolate over the popcorn.
- Let the chocolate harden (the tray can be put in the fridge/freezer to go faster). Once it's hard eat and enjoy. This would be super cute given in little baggies as a party favor. Be sure to keep it stored in an air tight container.
Adapted from: dixiecrystals.com
DON’T FORGET TO PIN IT, SO YOU DON’T LOSE IT. ALSO, CHECK OUT MY OTHER ALLERGY-FRIENDLY PINTEREST BOARDS.
Emily @ Recipes to Nourish
That color!!! So bold and pretty! Love that chocolate drizzle.
Thanks Emily. I thought the colors were fun and festive 🙂
Agness of Run Agness Run
This is a perfect gluten free dessert! Is there any way to avoid soy in this recipe?
Hi Agness–thanks for stopping by. This is soy-free. Can you explain to me, where you were thinking soy was found?
I love the bright color of the coating! So fun and festive.
Thanks–yes it’s nice to have bright colors in this long winter!
I was expecting like a Mexican chocolate recipe and scrolled down to find red hot tamales! Such a fun, unique idea and no doubt insanely delicious!!
Not only is this a striking treat, it sounds delicious too. I think even us big kids will enjoy this!
Thanks! Yes, it’s great for the whole family.
Thank you Lauren!
I love this! What a great idea, I’ve never considered melting ready made candies, but this looks fantastic!
Thanks–yes, I figured they had to melt down eventually 🙂
I very much appreciate teachers like your son’s! Keeping it simple and safe so that all can enjoy. As for this very festive popcorn … I love it! What fun!
I agree–we have really lucked out with teachers. Feeling very grateful and blessed.
Laura |Petite Allergy Treats
What a fun and safe Valentine’s Day creation! Your son is ADORABLE!
Thank you Laura!!
I love hot tomales!!! AND my husband makes the best safe popcorn. That means I just HAVE to try this recipe!!! I’m dying to know what the spicy sweet salty combo tastes like!
I didn’t add any salt, but that could def be a fun twist!
Chrystal @ Gluten-Free Palate
Such a fun idea for popcorn and your little one is adorable. Happy V-day!!
Great, delicious and easy snack for Valentines!
Kelly @ TastingPage
Wow, so many colorful and delicious ingredients going on there. Perfect for a party!
Thanks Kelly! Yes, I was thinking even as a party favor–so fun to tie the popcorn up in cute bags!
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
Mm that sounds like a delicious festive snack!