To pop popcorn on the stove: Pour oil in a large pot and heat on medium-high for 2 minutes. Add in popcorn kernels and cover, gently shaking the pot occasionally. Once popcorn begins to pop, decrease heat slightly and shake the pot more consistently. Remove pot from heat once you can count to 3 between pops. Remove unpopped kernels and pour popcorn into 1 large bowl. Making the syrup takes less than 10 minutes and you'll need to pour it on the popcorn quickly, so make sure you're popcorn is de-kerneled and ready. (Yes I just made up a word. De-kerneled. Don't look it up in the dictionary, you won't find it.)
Combine sugar, cream, corn syrup and salt in a large saucepan on medium- high heat on the stove. (5 is medium on mine and I had it at about 5.5) Bring to a full boil (where you can stir it and it's still boiling) then set the timer for 4 minutes. (If you want to use a candy thermometer, you can- you're looking to get to 235 degrees.)
Remove from heat and add in vanilla and red coloring. Stir until combined, then pour over popcorn. Gently stir until popcorn is coated. Lay out to cool on wax paper, gently breaking up pieces afterwards. Candied popcorn, once fully cooled will not be sticky and gooey, but instead have a light hard layer of candy coating. Tastes best if served immediately.
*you can substitute in 3 bags of microwave popcorn