These delicious salted caramels make a great gift, or make them to serve to guests and family over the holidays. A reliable candy thermometer is recommended for this recipe.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
- butter or canola cooking oil spray for the pan
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1 1/3 cups heavy cream
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- flaky sea salt for sprinkling
Spray a 9-inch square pan with flavorless cooking oil spray or grease with butter. Line the bottom and sides with a sheet of parchment paper and butter or spray lightly with cooking oil spray.
In a deep medium to large saucepan (4 to 5 inches in depth), combine the water, sugar, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil, swirling the pan frequently, until the mixture has turned a medium golden amber color. Do not stir. Once you notice the sugar mixture beginning to look yellow, watch carefully.
Meanwhile, heat the heavy cream, unsalted butter, and 1 teaspoon of sea salt in a saucepan over low heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Remove from the heat and set aside.
When the syrup reaches that amber color, carefully pour the cream in. Using a wooden spoon, stir the vanilla into the mixture. Attach your candy thermometer* and cook over medium-low heat to 150° F (firm ball stage). This stage will take about 10 to 15 minutes.
Pour the finished caramel into the prepared pan. It will look bubbly at first, but the bubbles will dissipate. Let the caramel mixture set for a few hours, then sprinkle with flaky sea salt and tamp down very lightly to help the salt adhere to the caramel. Cut or shape into small logs and wrap in wax paper. **
*Check your candy thermometer's accuracy in a pan of rapidly boiling water. It should read 212° F. If over or under that number, adjust the time in your candy recipe accordingly.
Makes one 9-inch square pan, about 60 to 80 small caramels.
**You might be able to find decorative pre-cut wax paper candy wrappers in a local craft store or online.
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