Caramels have become one of the biggest challenges in my kitchen. It seems like every other time I attempt to make them, they don’t turn out. I have heard that the weather can be a factor and to never make candy on a humid day. How frustrating! I live in Seattle, there is always water in the air. Taking into account what I know about the weather and that candy making is pretty scientific in the breaking down of sugar, I have continued to experiment in my ‘lab’. Not heating too fast, barely stirring the mixture while it cooks and using the right amount of ingredients seem to help greatly. I made these apple cider caramels a few days ago for the first time and am in love. The caramels, to quote Will, “taste like pumpkin pie and fall in a candy.” I will be making more, perhaps even today to give away as I think the world must know about these. Enjoy!
Apple Cider Caramels
2 cup high-quality apple cider
1 cup heavy cream or whipping cream, divided
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup real butter, cubed
course salt, optional
– Pour cider into a medium saucepan and boil on high for about 20 minutes or until the cider is reduced to 1/3 c. Keep an eye on it…it might try to run away. Set aside to cool.
– Line an 8″ square pan with parchment paper, making sure to leave about 1″ hanging over the edges for easy removal. Coat with a bit of vegetable oil and set aside.
– In a small bowl, combine 2/3 c. cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and reduced apple cider. Set aside.
– In a large, heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, 1/3 c. whipping cream + enough water to reach the 1/2 c. line on the measuring cup, and corn syrup. Cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Insert the candy thermometer and simmer until the syrup reaches 234 degrees.
– Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the cream mixture. Add the cubed butter and stir until the cream and butter are fully incorporated. Return the pan to heat and re-insert the candy thermometer. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the temperature reaches 248 degrees.
– Remove from heat and pour the caramel into the prepared pan. Sprinkle course salt over half or all the caramel if you desire. The salt is a great addition. Let the mixture cool completely at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Cut the caramels into 1/2″ squares and wrap each caramel in wax paper. Store in an airtight container or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, but I can guarantee that they won’t last that long.
Recipe from Our Best Bites