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One year our sister in law, Tricia, made these as a gift for our brother-in-law, Patrick. He loved them so much that we took her idea (and her recipe!) and decided to share it with you all. Here, we have included the basic recipe as well as some adaptations. These make a wonderful holiday gift! You could even make a couple variations and make assorted tins. (perhaps use washi tape to denote the different flavors?) This gift is perfect to give at work, or to neighbors, or even to your tricky brother that you NEVER know what to get (not that we have one of those… ;))
makes approx. 60 bite size caramels
5 T butter
1 c whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 c sugar
1/4 c light corn syrup
1/4 c water
for salted caramels: 1/2-1 TBS coarse kosher salt
for whiskey caramels: 1/4 cup whiskey OR 2 tsp rum extract
for vanilla caramels: 1 (aditional) TBS mexican vanilla
Line a 9X9 baking dish (for square caramels) OR a loaf pan (for round caramels) with parchment paper, spray with cooking spray and set it aside. In a 1 qt. sauce pan, heat the butter, whipping cream, vanilla, and salt until boiling, stirring often. (IF you are making whiskey or vanilla caramels, add the extra ingredient now.) Remove from heat and set aside. Combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a 3 qt sauce pan. Swirl the pan to combine the ingredients, but don’t stir. Place over medium heat and boil until it reaches 310 degrees and is a caramel color. It took me about 30 minutes, but it can go from golden to burnt in less than a minute, so don’t leave it! And use a candy thermometer. (you can also use a meat thermometer if your goes high enough) When it the mixture reaches 310, remove from heat and add in the cream mixture. Reheat it again until it reaches 248 degrees. This took me about 15-20 more minutes.When it’s at 248, pour into your glass pan and let cool for about 10 minutes. (IF you are making salted caramels sprinkle the last tablespoon of Kosher or Sea Salt on top). If you want square caramels, cut into squares using a greased, non serrated knife. For round caramels, spray another 1-2 foot piece of parchment paper with cooking spray. Lift the caramel out of the loaf pan and flip onto the new paper. Fold up the sides to make a “loaf” of caramel and roll it to make it thinner. Once the caramel is the desired circumference, cut into rounds and wrap like old fashion taffy, like so:
And just to help you out in making this a super easy gift, here is a printable as well. Here is the PDF for a 8.5X11 with two labels:
Or a jpeg with one label, so you can size it according to your tin size.