‘Tis the season for homemade gifts. Although, these are pretty yummy, so you may find yourself keeping them rather than giving them away. One batch makes about 32 caramels, so plan on making a batch for every two to three people on your list. Unfortunately it’s best not to double the batch. Lots of recipes for caramel talk about not letting the sugar crystallize on the sides of your pan or, (gasp) you could have little grainy pieces of sugar in your caramel! Here’s the thing: who really cares? Is Aunt Martha going to eat one of your caramels and say, “If only you had worried about the sugar crystallization when you made these.”? It’s not a big deal. Just make them! Note: You really do need a candy thermometer for this. Buy one at any grocery store for less than $10.
- 1/2 C. butter, melted
- 1/2 C. heavy whipping cream
- 1 t. vanilla
- 1/4 t. Kosher salt
- 3 T. water
- 1/4 C. light corn syrup
- 1 C. sugar
- 1 T. flaked Maldon salt
Line an 8 x 8 inch pan with parchment paper and spray it lightly with cooking spray. Combine the melted butter and cream, vanilla, and Kosher salt, and set aside. In a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat add the water, corn syrup, and sugar and stir gently to combine. When the sugar begins to boil cover the pan for one minute- this helps to keep evil crystallization at bay. Remove the lid and continue to boil until the mixture begins to turn pale gold in color and registers 320 degrees on your candy thermometer. Slowly add the butter-cream mixture. Be careful, the mixture will bubble up vigorously when you do this. Stir with a wooded spoon and continue to boil for about three or four more minutes, or until the mixture is a nice amber color and measures 240 degrees. Pour the caramel into your prepared pan and wait at least 15 minutes. Sprinkle the flake salt over the top.
Chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Cut into squares and wrap in individual wax paper squares. Makes about 36 candies.
A little note about packaging: You need to wrap these individually or they will stick together. I like to package them in glassine bags (craft store) and add a little ribbon or twine. I made these gift tags with an old map from the inside of a National Geographic magazine, some spray glue, card stock, and a hole punch.