Halloween is fast upon us, and that usually means — among other things — an evening to indulge in a few not-so-healthy sweets that remind you of your childhood. Why not try an adult treat this year for your Halloween celebration? This Dark & Stormy Caramel Corn was developed by Keavy Landreth and Allison Kave, the mastermind bakers behind Butter & Scotch, the new “bar and bakery of your dreams,” and comes from their new cookbook Butter & Scotch. It’s inspired by one of my favorite cocktails, the Dark & Stormy, and will definitely be my go-to snack for movie night from now on! —Kristina
Why Keavy and Allison love this recipe: We love this recipe for so many reasons. It’s one of the first creations that we developed together when we started Butter & Scotch, it’s salty and snacky and utterly addictive, and somehow it kinda tastes like Froot Loops??? The combination of fresh ginger, lime, and dark rum has a proven track record in cocktails, and this popcorn proves it works perfectly in the snack realm as well!
Dark & Stormy Caramel Corn
Makes approximately 14 cups (210g)
This is a flavor joyride: The lime zest hits you right away, while the ginger comes on strong at the end. It’s really important to use fresh ginger when making this caramel corn; the flavor is so much brighter and gives the corn a little kick. We also use Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, which is the trademark rum of all Dark & Stormy cocktails, and gives it that creamy vanilla note that perfectly complements the other bold flavors happening here.
— 1 cup (200g) sugar
— ½ cup (1 stick / 115g) unsalted butter
— ¼ cup (60ml) light corn syrup (see note below)
— ¼ teaspoon baking soda
— 3 tablespoons dark rum (we like Gosling’s Black Seal Rum)
— 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
— 2 teaspoons kosher salt
— Zest of 1 lime
— 14 cups (90g) popped popcorn (from about ½ cup / 100g kernels)
Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Grease two rimmed metal baking sheets and set aside.
In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat the sugar, butter, and corn syrup over medium-high, stirring until they are well incorporated. Cook the mixture until you smell the caramelized sugar and see it turn a light amber/beige color. Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the baking soda. Then whisk in the rum, ginger, salt, and lime zest (be careful; the caramel will release a lot of steam, so guard your hands). When all the ingredients are incorporated, fold in the popcorn using a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon. Keep folding, pulling caramel up from the bottom and over the popcorn, until it is well coated.
Spread the popcorn out on the baking sheets and bake for 20 minutes, pulling it out every 5 minutes to fold and toss to better coat the popcorn with caramel. Remove the popcorn from the oven to cool completely (this takes about 20 minutes), then serve or seal in airtight bags.
The caramel corn will last for up to 5 weeks when kept in an airtight bag away from humidity.
Note: If you’re completely opposed to using corn syrup, you can substitute honey here, but be aware that you’ll definitely get a pronounced honey flavor (which, depending on your palate, might be a great thing!).
About Keavy and Allison: Keavy Landreth and Allison Kave are the founders of Butter & Scotch, Brooklyn’s first dessert and craft cocktail bar, located in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, NY. In 2014, Keavy and Allison opened their Butter & Scotch storefront, which has received wide acclaim and press coverage. The bakery has been covered by New York Magazine, Nylon, Eater, USA Today, Refinery29, the New York Times, Grub Street, the TODAY show, Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, and more. Before teaming up for Butter & Scotch, Keavy and Allison each had their own successful dessert business. Keavy founded Kumquat Cupcakery in 2007. Allison founded her boutique pie company First Prize Pies in 2010, after winning the Brooklyn Pie Bake-Off. Her cookbook, First Prize Pies, was published in 2014. Butter & Scotch: Recipes from Brooklyn’s Favorite Bar and Bakery is Keavy and Allison’s first cookbook together.