This isn’t really spiked because the alcohol cooks off. Sorry to disappoint you. However, it probably is the best caramel corn you will ever taste. I got the original recipe from Amber at the great blog Bluebonnets & Brownies, and her version called for whiskey (her inspiration was from a Maker’s Mark recipe). I was all set to make it with some Jim Beam, but then I walked over to our liquor cabinet and spotted the dark rum. I was instantly reminded of this caramel sauce that I can’t ever get enough of and knew that I would be leaving the whiskey in the cabinet (for now). Not to mention that whenever I have anything that tastes like rum, I’m reminded of my honeymoon in Jamaica. Who doesn’t want to be reminded of their tropical honeymoon? So much fun. Anyways…click here if you’re interested in the original recipe…and take a minute to browse Amber’s beautiful blog.
Rum “Spiked” Caramel Corn
adapted from Bluebonnets and Brownies
1/2 cup unpopped corn (I used white)
3 cups of granulated white sugar (Yep, three cups. I never claimed that this was healthy.)
1/4 cup dark rum (I used Myers’s)
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1.5 tsp salt
1.5 tsp baking soda
1. Pop the popcorn using an air popper (or on the stove with oil if you don’t have an air popper). Place popped popcorn in a large bowl. You’ll want enough room for stirring after you pour the caramel over it. I had to separate the popcorn into two bowls.
2. Cover one to two (I used two) sheet pans with aluminum foil.
3. In a large saucepan, combine sugar, rum, butter, vanilla, and salt. Heat over medium heat, stirring very often (I stirred nearly continuously). Continue to cook until sugar melts and caramel becomes a pretty brown (caramel) color. If you’ve never made caramel, you’ll think you screwed this up. I did. It gets sort of dry-ish before it melts. Just keep stirring. Good things will happen. I think mine took about 15-20 minutes. Once it melts and turns a dark caramel color, trust your gut and act fast because it scorches quickly.
4. Add the baking soda (I measured it first and put it in a little bowl so I could add it all at once) and keep stirring. Be careful as it bubbles up quickly and almost doubles in quantity. Quickly remove from heat, pour over the popcorn and stir quickly to coat all the corn.
5. Spread the caramel corn out on foil lined sheet pans and allow to cool at least ten minutes before digging in.
6. Try not to eat this all in one sitting. Let me know if you’re successful. You might want to share with friends, I did.
Verdict: Dangerously good. The rum flavor comes through perfectly. Best caramel corn I’ve ever had. Seriously.
Husband’s take: “I could live on this stuff.”
Changes I would make: Might throw in some peanuts next time. I also still want to try this with whiskey instead of the rum. But the rum was really, really good.
Difficulty: Moderate. Read the whole recipe through first and get everything set up and ready to go. It will help a lot!