Recipes for Red Hots (1929-1972)Still hanging on to those spicy cinnamon hearts from Valentine's? Also known as Red Hots (brand name) or cinnamon imperials (generic name), cinnamon hearts hold a fond place in my childhood memory. As a child I often accompanied my mother on long car trips, so there was nearly always some sort of candy or snack close at hand. Around Valentine's Day, cinnamon hearts made an appearance, and I can still recall the addictive, spicy sting of their flavour on my tongue. This year, Mr. Man brought some home for me, but oddly I found that I couldn't quite tolerate the flavour as much as I could when I was younger. I wondered if I could find some strange historical recipe so that I could use them up rather than waste them. Amazingly, recipes using cinnamon candies date back to at least 1929, which was before the Red Hots brand was trademarked. These candies are almost always paired with apple(sauce) and/or Jell-O, and often seems to hold a special place on holiday tables, as a symbol of family heritage and tradition.
So, compiled for your convenience, some recipes using cinnamon heart candies:
Applesauce with red hotsFrom: Better Homes and Gardens Junior Cook Book (1963)
Apple SundaeFrom: Reynolds Wrap advertisement (1972)
Imperial Salad/Cinnamon Apple SaladFrom: The Parker Cook Book (1932), updated by Laura Gutschke
Cox's cinnamon apple salad called for an usual mix of ingredients that includes cottage cheese, walnuts and red cinnamon candies, famously known as Red Hots. (Another generic name for the candy is cinnamon imperials.) Surprisingly, they work well together.
The candy's intense cinnamon flavor reduces to a subtle hint when cooked in the sugar syrup in the following recipe.
The original instructions called for cooking cored apples whole in the red syrup and stuffing them with a mixture of cottage cheese and walnuts. I instead sliced the apples. I also eliminated the lettuce and mayonnaise that was included in the serving directions.
The apples also can be enjoyed without the cottage cheese.
CINNAMON APPLE SALAD
1/2 cup sugar1/2 cup water
1 cup red cinnamon candies
4 crisp apples, sliced
1. In skillet, cook sugar, water and cinnamon candies over medium-high heat to make a syrup. Stir often to blend well.
2. Add apple slices to the syrup mixture and reduce heat to medium. Cook until apples are tender but not broken, about 10 to 15 minutes. Gently stir occasionally.
3. Remove cooked apples from syrup and place slices skin side down on serving platter. Chill in refrigerator about one hour.
4. In a separate bowl, mix about 2 tablespoons walnuts into 1/2 cup cottage cheese for each serving.
5. Place 5-6 apple slices on a plate and top with serving of cottage cheese mixture.
Applesauce SaladFrom: Recipe collection, undated
Cinnamon Candy Jell-O SaladFrom: unknown (1961)
1 pkg. Cherry Jello
1/4 C. cinnamon candies (Red Hots)
1 C. hot water
2 C. applesauce
Dissolve candies in hot water and add Jello. Stir into applesauce and chill.
Cinnamon Apple Salad DessertFrom: The Evening Independent (1929)
Blushing SnowballsFrom: Westinghouse recipe pamphlet (1950s)