Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Cinnamon Imperial Hearts

imageOne of the few candies that seemed to be in our house regularly when I was a kid were Cinnamon Imperials. Perhaps it was because they were considered “baking products.”

Around Valentine’s Day each year they’re available in little heart shapes. (Actually, lately this is the only way I can find them unless I’m willing to buy the stupidly expensive packages from the cake decorating companies, teensy boxes of Ferrara Pan Red Hots or in huge quantities via the web.)


They’re the perfect little candy and a rather simple construction. The center is a tiny pressed hard candy in the shape of a heart. They’re then tumbled in a panning machine and given several coats of red flavored sugar syrup and then shined up with a little edible wax.

They’re not super hot, just a pleasant spicy cinnamon. These feature the devilish Red #40, but for some reason the cinnamon flavor masks it well enough for me to keep eating these. Of course everyone knows I’ve been eating them because my tongue has been red for the past week.

They’re a fun candy to share and great for putting in a covered jar for everyone to enjoy. Definitely something to put on your list of items to pick up when they’re wildly on sale after Valentines.

I’ve never noticed much difference between the brands. I’ve had Ferrara Pan & Necco and probably a bunch of other brands that I never managed to figure out. The Food Network’s Unwrapped show did an episode on Valentines candy last weekend and showed a company named Primrose in Chicago also making them.

I’m fairly certain these were produced after Brach’s was taken over by Farley’s & Sathers last fall. The coding on it is the Farley’s & Sathers style. This particular bag has a code of 7332CYP5, using a Julian date system for the first four characters which means that it was produced on the 332rd day of 2007. That’d be November 27th, 2007. I’m guessing that a panned hard candy like this is good for at least 12 months. Tasted pretty fresh to me.

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Name: Cinnamon Imperial Hearts
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Brach's (Farley's & Sathers)
Place Purchased: RiteAid (Vermonica)
Price: $.99
Size: 8.25 ounces
Calories per ounce: 113
Categories: Hard Candy, Cinnamon, United States, Brachs, Farley's & Sathers, Valentines

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:00 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. This reminds me of Mark Bittman’s TV show “How to Cook Everything.”  In the episode Mark Bittman vs. Jean-Georges Vongerichten they had a challenge in which each had to cook a poultry dish which included a candy ingredient.  Jean-Georges made Broiled Squab with Jordan Almonds, and Bittman cooked Broiled Cornish Hens with Red Hots.  Recipes below.

    Comment by Jules on 2/13/08 at 9:59 am #
  2. I love cinnamon hearts, because I love anything cinnamon (still miss the white cinnamon Life Savers! will they ever make them again?) but these can be tell-tale as they turn your tongue red. And everyone knows you have been eating them (unlike Mentos, the perfect stealth candy)!

    Comment by Lidian on 2/13/08 at 10:48 am #
  3. One of those little dinky candies that just works!

    I miss cinnamon Reed’s, though not as much as the root beer.

    Comment by Dave on 2/13/08 at 12:56 pm #
  4. Man, I’ve been looking for these the past few days, mostly for nostalgia’s sake.  There always seemed to be some of these around when I was growing up, and I wanted to give my daughters the same taste memory—but I could not find them ANYWHERE!  I wasn’t even looking for a particular brand—just any of the red cinnamon candies I remembered calling “red hots.”  So unless I happen by a store tomorrow that has them, I’ll have to do without this year…

    Comment by good enough cook on 2/13/08 at 4:34 pm #
  5. MMM….looks good. Makes me want to eat one! Great for Valentine’s Day!

    Comment by blabbinit on 2/13/08 at 4:47 pm #
  6. I bought a bag of these and used them, along with red sugar, as decoration on cupcakes. It looked cute, and I still have nearly a full bag to munch on while surfing the net.

    Comment by Karen on 2/14/08 at 8:40 pm #
  7. Dear Cybele - You know these are good in pudding - you didn’t mention that.  Love, Mom

    Comment by Eva on 2/15/08 at 8:23 am #
  8. Hi all….

    I love these at this time of year too. My Walmart has them in the candy section, where they sell the “movie theater” size boxes of stuff - for a mere 88 cents. They are the Ferrara Pan “Red Hots” and are a steal since the little tiny bottle for decorating costs at least twice what the big box sells for.

    Comment by Kate on 2/19/08 at 8:22 am #
  9. Red cinnamon are a great glaze for apple dumplings!
    However, I’m having trouble finding them in stores to purchase.  Does anyone know of a place, other than online to purchase?

    Comment by Renee on 3/15/09 at 6:17 am #
  10. My brothers and I love “Red Hots”  when ever we can find them we buy them for each other.  I can find them during valentines day and also Ekerds’s Drug store.  if you have and Ekerd’s near by try the.  was a regular candy in that store.

    Comment by Bruce on 9/12/09 at 9:49 am #
  11. looking for cinnamon imperial candy apple on stick receipe

    Comment by melissa on 10/12/09 at 1:55 pm #
  12. Cinnamon imperials (aka red hots) were my favorite childhood candy. Hardly see them anymore except in the bulk section at Wegman’s.

    Comment by Andrea Meyers on 12/02/09 at 4:33 pm #
  13. Does anyone have a cake recipe that uses red cinnamom candy hearts?  My mom used to make a white cake with these hearts.  She would put the hearts in water and melt them and then use that liquid for the liquid in the cake recipe.  It turned the cake a pretty pink and she made it for my grandfather whose birthday was on Valentine’s Day.  I can’t find any recipe that uses the hearts in this manner.

    Comment by Linda Smith on 2/03/10 at 10:51 am #
  14. Does anyone know where I can find these candies?  I’ve looked at Walgreens and CVS and no one seems to have them this year.

    Comment by Laurie on 2/04/10 at 9:47 am #
  15. We are having the same problem, we can’t find them anywhere.

    Comment by Amy Gates on 2/05/10 at 3:55 am #
  16. We ended up purchasing a bulk size bag online.

    Comment by Renee on 2/06/10 at 12:44 am #
  17. I was wondering where i could purchase red hot or cinnamon imperials in the area of zip code 64024

    Comment by Michael Colvin on 2/20/10 at 4:53 am #
  18. I just got an email from Farley & Sathers - they’ve DISCONTINUED the cinnamon hearts!  I’m so disappointed!  I end up buying a whole case every year between the first of January and the day after Valentine’s.  I put them out in a bowl in my office and nearly everyone takes a few.  They make great quick breath fresheners!  I can go through a bag a week or more and I’ve been doing this for more than 5 years.  I even have people asking me where they are when the bowl is empty.  Now this year when I want to use them in favors for my wedding they’re not available anywhere!

    Comment by Susan on 1/16/12 at 12:09 pm #
  19. i cannot find them. I cant believe they are discontinuing them. grrrrrr. i would eat pounds of them between now and Valentine’s Day…

    Comment by Val on 1/29/12 at 11:38 am #
  20. I cook with “red hots”.  I can’t find them.  Can you help me.??

    Comment by Dinny on 2/09/13 at 3:30 pm #
  21. My family and I from Tx.,Fl.,Ca., all get together 1 time a year.  This year we want to celebrate Valentines day.  I need cinnamon imperial hearts and of course I can’t find them since Valentines day is over.  Can I purchase from the warehouse?  Please this is important to me.    Thank you   Kathi

    Comment by Kathi Citino on 2/20/13 at 12:23 pm #
  22. Lately, I have been buying the spherical Brach’s cinnamon imperials. Increasingly they are getting just terrible tasting. Not cinnamon at all; more like fish or sea water. I have noticed that the bad bags have a tiny bit larger and more uniform size than the ones I used to get. I don’t think I will be buying them again.

    Comment by Alice on 4/13/13 at 5:07 pm #
  23. I found these candies in the cake decorations section @ grocery store.  Expensive for a little bottle.  Melted them and frosted biscotti for Christmas.  The best.  After I just put some in my coffee!

    Comment by Lisa M. on 1/15/14 at 8:41 am #
  24. I went to georgia last month and a little grocery store had cinnamon imperials. i bought 3 bags and hate them all. I have been to 12 stores here in florida and nobody has them. They have plenty of redhots and redhot chews, but redhots are not the same as imperials. redhots are hard and imperials are just soft enough where you can chew it up…

    Comment by nicole on 4/16/14 at 8:17 am #
  25. Just returned from Walgreens in Omaha where they no longer are carrying Ferrara’s red hots, much to my dismay. Some of the grocery stores carry Brach’s but those taste bad. I grew up buying the 10 cent bag of Farley’s Imperials and when I couldn’t find those, found Ferrara’s to be the best. I found them online—don’t know what postage costs but the candy seemed reasonable.  Given the multiplicity of uses,( cakes, cookies, applesauce, cinnamon popcorn, gingerbread houses, dental destruction

    Comment by Darla on 11/07/14 at 1:00 pm #
  26. candy hearts can always be found at Bulk Barn bulk foods store at most any time of year. They were not out on display last weekend so I asked about them and they brought me out some from the back of the store.

    Comment by Mysty on 4/02/15 at 4:22 pm #
  27. For those looking, Amazon has several different brands and different sizes.

    Comment by SweetieGirl on 10/09/15 at 2:36 pm #
  28. Brach’s and Ferrara Pan both have store finders on their websites, where you can pick the Cinnamon Imperials or Red Hots (respectively), enter your zip code, and see who sells them near you.  (No guarantee they’re still in stock, of course.)

    Comment by Bill5 on 11/30/15 at 10:40 am #
  29. I, too, love Red Hot Imperials…I use them on my Christmas Butter Cookie (Cookie Cutter) cookies.  They last a LONG time…but do get hard, and then they are difficult to bite into. 

    Does anyone know how to re-soften them to the point where one won’t break a tooth trying to chew them!!! :D


    Comment by Denise on 1/10/16 at 12:20 pm #
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