Butter & Scotch Hot Toddy Caramel Corn


Butter & Scotch Hot Toddy Caramel Corn


This is a sponsored post from Abrams Books and the Abrams Dinner Party. 


Last week I did a very informal poll in a video I made for Instagram about this great new cookbook called Butter & Scotch, named for the actual Brooklyn bar and bakery. I asked my viewers which recipe they would like to see on my blog and gave them three choices.

The overwhelming choice was for this Hot Toddy Caramel Corn, made with a good shot of bourbon!

That is what this book and the establishment is Brooklyn is all about. Delicious baked goods and really fantastic cocktails, both meant to be eaten and drank together! Forget salty bar foods, this is all about balancing a sweet dessert with a cocktail that may also be sweet or bitter or both!

This book covers the bases, from pie dough to frosting to cakes and beyond. On the cocktail side, there are recipes for simple syrups and shrubs for making drinks that are out of this world.

I grew up drinking Hot Toddys when I was sick, and to this day I make them when my throat is sore and my nose is stuffy. But now I can make Hot Toddy Caramel Corn, and enjoy it while I sip my liquid Hot Toddy.

Whether I’m sick or not.

Hot Toddy Caramel Corn

Servings 14 cups


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup clover honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoon bourbon
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 14 cups popped popcorn


  1. Preheat the oven to 325° F. Grease two rimmed metal baking sheets and set aside.

  2. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat the sugar, butter and honey over medium-high, stirring until they are well incorporated. Cook the caramel until you smell the caramelized sugar and see it turn a light amber/beige color.

  3. Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the baking soda, then whisk in the bourbon, salt, lemon zest and cinnamon. (be careful, the caramel will release a lot of steam, so guard your hands.)

  4. 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.

  5. Spread the popcorn out on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, pulling it out every 5 minutes to fold and toss to better coat the popcorn with caramel.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely (this takes about 20 minutes) then serve or seal in airtight bags.

  6. The caramel corn will last up to 5 weeks when kept in an air-tight bag away from humidity.

Full Disclosure: This is a sponsored post from Abrams Books and the Abrams Dinner Party.  I may receive compensation in the form of monetary compensation or product compensation in exchange for my review. I believe in reviewing only products that fit my brand and will be beneficial to my readers. All the opinions are my own.

New Year’s Resolution Smoothie

Mango Ginger Green Smoothie | Black Girl Chef's Whites

Are you one of those people who makes a resolution every year to eat healthier, drink less, be kinder, etc.? With the exception of being kinder, I am not one to make a New Year’s resolution.  In fact, I resolve to not make a resolution. Therefore, I never disappoint myself for failing to stick with my resolution. Win win, in my humble opinion.

But for those who do make resolutions, this recipe is for you. . . and everyone else really, since I do not believe in exclusion.

I keep seeing healthy recipes all over the place these days, since January is all about new beginnings and fresh starts. This New Year’s Resolution Smoothie recipe is probably one of my healthiest, as I sure do love to cook, eat and write about meat. Not that meat cannot be healthy. Everything in moderation, they say. Whoever they are.

This recipe was developed and posted 3 years ago, but it stands the test of time. And it is very easy, nutritious and filling. You’ll probably still want to make it even after your resolutions have fallen by the wayside. Not that they will.


Mango Ginger Green Smoothie | Black Girl Chef's Whites

New Year's Resolution Smoothie
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 1 smoothie
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and diced or 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
  • 1 cup (packed) torn kale leaves
  • 1 cup coconut water
  1. In a blender puree all the ingredients until smooth.
  2. Serve immediately.


S’Mores Martini

S'Mores Martini | Black Girl Chef's Whites

S’Mores Martini you say? Have I lost my mind, you say?

As much as I would love to tell you I came up with the idea for this fantastic cocktail, it is the brainchild of one of my favorite QVC hosts David Venable. In his latest cookbook Back Around the Table: An “In the Kitchen with David” Cookbook from QVC’s Resident Foodie. This is his second book, almost guaranteed to be a bestseller like his first book.

Back Around the Table Cover

In October 2012, he released his first cookbook, In the Kitchen with David: Comfort Foods That Take You Home, which contains 150 hearty, easy-to-make recipes designed with the home cook in mind. It was the third best-selling cookbook of 2012. This new book is chock full of recipes for tasty treats, including Banana-Peanut Butter French Toast, Sunday Pot Roast, Smoked Brisket, Five-Cheese Fifteen-Minute Mac’ n’ Cheese, and Mimi’s Blackberry Cobbler–can be found in his second comfort food cookbook. QVC’s resident foodie shows you how to transform recipes you know and love into exciting new dishes that still remind you of home.

I actually have a few appliances in my kitchen that I bought from QVC, probably while watching David Venable on In the Kitchen with David. My pressure cooker and huge 18 quart roaster oven are wonderful appliances. I’ve cooked my 20 pound Thanksgiving turkey in that roaster oven, because not only does it come out so tender and juicy I pulled the leg off just trying to pick it up but also because it leaves your oven free for all the side dishes. You can’t beat that.

I’ve been a QVC shopper for so long I can’t remember. I cannot tell you how many times I was wearing an outfit or a beautiful piece of jewelry, and had someone approach to ask where I got it. I would always proudly say QVC! My friends would laugh at me because I said QVC so often! Whatever, I know where to buy the good stuff.

I chose to make this cocktail from the book, even though there are so many other recipes that sounded delicious. The Smoked Gouda, Bacon and Pea Risotto is calling my name, as is the Asian Pulled Pork. Both recipes are for the pressure cooker, which I happen to have, because I bought it on QVC!

A S’Mores Martini is like drinking adult chocolate milk. It is is sweet and smooth and oh so tasty. Too tasty, because I sucked one down in mere moments. Then I just sat there giggling for a bit. Lesson learned.

S'Mores Martini | Black Girl Chef's Whites


S'Mores Martini
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 2 Martinis
  • ¼ cup chocolate syrup
  • 2 graham crackers, finely crushed
  • 2 marshmallows
  • ¼ cup marshmallow vodka
  • ¼ cup Adult Chocolate Milk
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  1. Put 3 tablespoons of the chocolate syrup on a small plate.
  2. Place the crushed graham crackers on another small plate.
  3. Dip the rims of two martini glasses in the chocolate syrup, then dip the rims into the graham cracker crumbs. Quickly turn the martini glasses right side up and drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup in a spiral design on the insides of the glasses.
  4. Put the glasses in the freezer for 1 hour to let the chocolate harden.
  5. Remove the glasses from the freezer.
  6. Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  7. Put each marshmallow on the end of a skewer.
  8. Place the skewers in the skillet with a flat side of the marshmallows facing down, until the marshmallows turn golden, about 45 seconds.
  9. Remove the skewered marshmallows from the pan and, using the tines of a fork, push 1 marshmallow into each martini glass.
  10. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice, half of the marshmallow vodka, half of the Adult Chocolate Milk, and half of the cream.
  11. Shake well and strain the mixture into one of the glasses.
  12. Repeat for the second drink.


If you think your family will enjoy this recipe, be sure to visit qvc.co/AroundtheTableCookbook to learn more about and purchase Back Around the Table: An “In the Kitchen with David” Cookbook. Filled with 156 great recipes like this, you’re sure to find something that fits your lifestyle and gathers everyone back around the table!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of QVC. The opinions and text are all mine.

The Spicy Thai

The Spicy Thai | Black Girl Chef's Whites

This is not a recipe for the kids.  This is a spicy, sweet and intoxicating cocktail infused with the flavors of Thai cooking, hence the name The Spicy Thai!

I love experimenting with herbal infusions in cocktails, and this is my latest experiment.  The Blue Spice Basil and Key Lime Mojito is a refreshing rum based drink, while the Limoncello-Lemon Verbena Cocktail  is a smooth citrusy libation.

They key to all of these cocktails is an herb infused sugar syrup.  My little organic garden inspired this flavor combination.  My lemongrass was huge and blocking the sun for other plants, so I needed to trim it. My serrano chile plant was heavy with ripe fruits, ready to be picked. I could have made a Thai chile paste or entree, but a cocktail seemed so much better.

Food makes me happy . . . but cocktails make me happier.

Don’t you love that stirrer? That is actually a pice of sugarcane, so it not only moves the liquid around it flavors it too. I received a sample of these from Frieda’s Produce and love them.   Check your local markets for them, and don’t be afraid to request that your produce manager order them for you.

The Spicy Thai | Black Girl Chef's Whites


The Spicy Thai
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 1 cocktail
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Serrano chile peppers, sliced
  • 2 4-5 inch lemongrass stalks, sliced
  • 2 ounces lemongrass-chile simple syrup
  • 1½ ounces vodka
  • 1 teaspoon key lime juice
  • tonic water
  1. In a small saucepan over high heat bring the water and sugar just to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer the syrup for about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the syrup from the heat, add the sliced chiles and lemongrass.
  4. Let the syrup cool completely, then strain out the chiles and lemongrass.
  5. Place in the refrigerator to chill until ready to use.
  6. In a tall glass filled with ice, pour 2 ounces of the lemongrass-chile simple syrup, 1½ ounces vodka and 1 teaspoon key lime juice.
  7. Add tonic to fill the glass, stir gently to mix.
  8. Enjoy responsibly.
There will be enough syrup for multiple cocktails. You can keep unused syrup in the refrigerator for about a week.


White Sangria and a Tea Party for Preschoolers

This was originally posted for two wonderfully wacky ladies who had a podcast and website called Get Mommy A Drink. They no longer have the site or podcast, so I decided to post this refreshing White Sangria Recipe and the story of the tea party here. The tea party guests are all six and seven years old now, and all of us mommies are still drinking!



Smiley Cookie | Black Girl Chef's Whites


How do you have a tea party for a group of four year old girls and not want to run screaming down the street? One word – sangria.

I try to be a good mom.  I have done the room parent thing at my daughter’s preschool. I have schlepped to the zoo, the park, and more birthday parties than I care to remember.  But I am so not the artsy/crafty type of mom, who can sit for hours on end making precious keepsakes. I know those type of moms exist, but they must have much better prescription drugs than I do.

The one thing I can share with my girl is food.  People always remark about how well she eats for a young child, but I have believe children will eat all sorts of things if they are introduced early, before they have time to make up their mind against it.  Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of stupid Happy Meal toys in my child’s room. A lot. But when mommy is not being a slacker my daughter eats fish, salads, a variety of vegetables and lots of fruits.

My daughter decided she wanted to have a real tea party with her little preschool friends, whom I have dubbed “The Pink Posse.” Now, this was something I could do!  No paint, glitter, or construction paper.  Since the group is still very young, no need for the fancy stuff like finger sandwiches and petit fours.  Fresh fruit, cheese and an activity is all they needed.

The one concession to craftiness I made was to bake some sugar cookies for the girls to decorate using food coloring pens.  They could draw a masterpiece and then eat it!  To save time and energy, you can even buy a couple of rolls of Pillsbury sugar cookie dough.

But the moms needed more. While the little ones squealed and played princess, we moms sipped on a lovely white sangria and noshed on lentil salad with tomatoes and goat cheese.

A good time was had by all, but the key to success was that I did not stress about little details.  The kids don’t care if it’s not fancy, and if the mothers do then you are friends with the wrong mothers! And be sure to serve a delicious cocktail. It’s not a party without one, is it?


White Sangria | Black Girl Chef's Whites



Recipe: White Sangria


  • 16-20 strawberries, sliced
  • 4 ripe peaches, pitted and sliced
  • 2 oranges, halved and sliced
  • 3 750ml bottles of white wine, preferably Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay


  1. Place the fruit into a large glass container or stainless steel pot. Pour the wine over the fruit, then stir to mix well.
  2. Place the sangria into the refrigerator to marinate at least 4 hours to overnight.
  3. Drink copiously but responsibly.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

Copyright © Cheryl D Lee.