Monday, December 20, 2010

Salted Caramels

" Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful."
-Norman Vincent Peale
This post is a part of a series, Handmade Holiday Gifts.

Warning! If you make these caramels and give them as gifts, people will demand that you make them and give them some every year.

This isn't really a problem though, they are so delicious you won't mind making them so you can enjoy the leftovers.

In the pan cooling

Pretty simple to make as well. Total cooking time is under a half an hour. They do take patience, and a watchful eye on the candy thermometer. It can be tedious to wrap all of those little gems, but to me it's not a big deal. I just wrap them while watching a movie or TV show. If you dip them in chocolate you can box them up and give them that way. No wrapping required.
I believe the end result is worth it. They are rich with cream and butter, and oh so decadent. If you were to purchase high quality caramels like these, you'd pay a dollar or more a piece.

out of the pan ready for cutting into little pieces

in a bag ready for giving

Salted Caramels
recipe adapted from here
2 cups heavy cream
10 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into pieces
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon fleur de sel or other flaky salt (for sprinkling on top)
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla
Line a 13x9 dish with parchment paper, and lightly grease it.
Bring cream, butter and fine sea salt to a boil in a small saucepan, then remove from heat and set aside.
Boil sugar, corn syrup and water in a large heavy pot stirring until sugar is dissolved. Then stop stirring and boil until the mixture turns the color of a light golden caramel. Swirling the pan periodically.
.Align Center
Carefully stir in the cream mixture (the mixture will bubble up) and simmer, on medium heat, (if the heat is too high, it will burn before reaching 246) stirring frequently, until caramel registers 246 on a thermometer. Stir in the vanilla. Pour into prepared pan and immediately sprinkle the flaky salt on top. (When I noted 1 tsp above for the flaky salt, I'd say you don't need to measure it, just use enough to sprinkle the top of the caramel lightly, but make sure to cover it all since you are going to cut them into small pieces.)
Cool for about an hour, then cut into small pieces, and wrap with wax paper if desired.
Or you can dip them in chocolate before sprinkling the salt on top, then sprinkle them with salt after dipping in chocolate.


Lee said...

Oh yeah, this is what I'm talking about.

Anonymous said...

I'll be making these as soon as I can replace my broken candy thermometer. They look delicious!