It has been almost three years that homemade caramels have been on my kitchen bucket list. Not only have caramels been on my kitchen bucket list, I have also promised to make them for my mom and dad.
Now since this was my first time making caramels, and really my first time making candy on my own. The recipe I used is from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. It is a pretty easy recipe, and really easy to follow. It felt weird not adapting the recipe, and then sharing the adapted version. BUT hubby said it is a FOOD blog, so no worries!
There is a restaurant/coffee house here in Charlotte, called Amelie’s, that serves a salted caramel brownie. That salted caramel brownie is the most popular sweet treat at Amelie’s. Anyone in Charlotte social media will share their love for that little brownie. Sooooooo, that being said, hubby has made a request now for some salted caramel brownies. I believe I will have to for sure deliver on that request!
I love pecans and caramel together, so I had to add some chopped pecans to some of the caramels I made. The pecan caramels are my favorite, I may have eaten WAY too many. My next goal now, and will have to add it to my kitchen bucket list, pecan log. My mom loves pecan logs, and I kinda love them too. They look like they would be fun to make!
This recipe is word for word from Barefoot Contessa's website. Just follow the recipe exactly how she shares in the directions.
Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, then brush the paper lightly with oil, allowing the paper to drape over 2 sides.
In a deep saucepan (6 inches wide x 41/2 inches deep), combine 1/4 cup water, the sugar and corn syrup and bring them to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil until the mixture is a warm golden brown. Don’t stir – just swirl the pan to mix. Watch carefully, as it will burn quickly at the end!
In the meantime, in a small pan, bring the cream, butter, and 1 teaspoon of fleur de sel to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat and set aside.
When the sugar mixture is a warm golden color, turn off the heat and slowly add the cream mixture to the sugar mixture. Be careful - it will bubble up violently. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon and cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, until the mixture reaches 248 degrees (firm ball) on a candy thermometer. Very carefully (it’s hot!) pour the caramel into the prepared pan and refrigerate for a few hours, until firm.
When the caramels are cold, pry the sheet from the pan onto a cutting board. Cut the sheet in half. Starting with a long side, roll one piece of the caramel up tightly into an 8-inch-long log. Repeat with the second piece. Sprinkle both logs with fleur de sel, trim the ends, and cut each log in 8 pieces. Cut glassine or parchment papers into 4 x 5-inch pieces and wrap each caramel individually, twisting the ends. Store in the refrigerator and serve the caramels chilled.
The only difference in the recipe, I used sea salt instead of Fleur de Sel.
Once the caramels are cooled in the refrigerator, you can have fun with how you want to cut them up and present them. Since I wanted to send some as a fun Christmas treat to one of my family members, I had fun wrapping several of the caramels. I used a large pizza cutter, and cut thin strips, and then cut individual pieces to be wrapped.
I also spent some time cutting small squares of parchment for each piece of caramel. It was a tedious project, but really fun and rewarding!
Over the next few weeks I will be making sweet treats for my family and my best friend for Christmas. This is something I have wanted to do for a long time, and I am pretty excited to finally take the time to share some treats with people I dearly love!
I am not very good at being crafty, but decided to decorate a jar with some Christmas love. Then I filled each jar all the way to the top with individually wrapped caramels. I have a lot of caramels left, because I actually tripled the recipe. The original recipe is supposed to give you about 16 caramels….depending on how big you make each piece of course!
Have you ever made homemade caramel candies?
Are you making sweet treats to give away as gifts this Christmas?