A heatproof spatula works best to combine and spread the ingredients into the pan. Kids may prefer this without the red pepper. Store in an airtight container for up to one week at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 300°.
Coat a 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan or other large rimmed baking pan with cooking spray. Place popcorn in a large metal or glass bowl lightly coated with cooking spray.
Combine syrup, butter, salt, and pepper in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring just until combined. Cook, without stirring, for 2 minutes. Pour syrup mixture over popcorn in a steady stream, stirring to coat.
Spread popcorn mixture in an even layer into prepared pan. Bake at 300° for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and cool completely in pan.
Ice Cream Treats: Easy Ways to Transform Your Favorite Ice Cream into Spectacular Desserts