Okay, okay so I procrastinated. I really wanted to attempt homemade caramels this year and I waited a little long to get started. Who knew caramels were so time consuming AND tempermental! I am new to the world of caramel making and let me tell you. When you are making caramels you must do nothing else but make caramels because if you decide to lets say read your child a book then you might suddenly realize by the pluming smoke from your kitchen that you really screwed up. And then you might realize that burnt sugar is almost impossible to clean up.
So, take 2 of my caramel mission was touch and go, but overall a success. And I will say that all the hard work and patience that goes into caramel making is well worth it. They turned out delicious and I'm excited to give them away.
Adapted from Our Best Bites
Apple Cider Caramels
2 c. high-quality apple cider (like Simply Apple)
1 c. heavy cream or whipping cream
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. light corn syrup
up to 1/4 cup hot water
1 stick (1/2 c.) real butter, cubed
First put your apple cider in a saucepan and boil on high until it is reduced to 1/3 cup. This takes about 20 minutes. (Just so you know, this is where I decided to read Maggie a story. Don't do that. Ha ha!) Keep a liquid measuring cup right there so you can pour your liquid back and forth to check it. Remove from heat. In a small bowl mix the cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt, and reduced apple cider. In a large heavy bottomed pan mix the sugar, corn syrup, and water. I used about 2/3 of a 1/4 cup. The original recipe didn't have the water and my big clump of sugar wasn't doing much till I added it. You need some liquid in there.
Cook the sugar on medium low heat. When the sugar is looking dissolved add a candy thermometer and heat until the syrup measures 234 degrees. Remove from heat and add your cream mixture and butter. Stir until your butter is melted and everything is incorporated. Return to heat and replace your thermometer. Continue cooking until your thermometer reaches 248 degrees stirring gently but frequently. (Just so you know, because I didn't, this takes time. About 30 minutes.) Keep an eye on it, you don't want to cook it too long or your caramels will be hard. And if you don't cook it enough they will be super soft.
While your caramel is cooking line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper so it hangs out on both ends. Lightly spray with vegetable oil spray. When your caramel has reached 248 degrees, remove from heat and pour into your prepared pan. BE CAREFUL! This is very very hot. Keep the kiddos away. Put your caramel in the fridge and let it set up. It should be set in an hour.
When you are ready, take the carmel out and use the parchment paper that was hanging out to pop out the caramel. Place on a cutting board and use a sprayed pizza cutter to cut your caramels. I cut mine 1 inch by 1.5 inches. Now the fun part (not really)! Cut wax paper into squares, place one caramel in the center and wrap up twisting the ends to seal.
I wanted to show you how I wrapped these, but my printer has started to act up. Nothing seems to be going my way this week. Hopefully I'll have a picture for you later.
Hope everyone is doing well. We would love a link to your recipe or neighbor gift ideas. Please share! Have a good day!