Thanksgiving Eve is here. I’ve always loved the Eve of any holiday or special occasion. The anticipation for what’s in store the following day feels so magical to me. Getting together with family, enjoying good food and just taking it all in is worth getting excited for. You probably have your Thanksgiving Day menu planned by now and are ready for the big day. If you feel like adding something sweet, these Chewy Salted Caramels should definitely be it. Even if you’re already set for the main meal, you may be looking for something fun to do on this long weekend. These caramels fit the bill just right. I mean, chewy, salted, and caramel. Do I really need to say more to convince you to make these? Yeah, didn’t think so.
‘Tis the season to prepare your own batch of caramels. No, really. The colder months are perfect for making caramels because the moisture in the humid air can affect the outcome of your caramels negatively (the texture and hardening stage of caramel can easily change with added moisture even if you’re doing everything according to recipe instructions). You’re looking for a dry and cool day to gives theses treats a go.
The softness of these caramels was perfect. Not too hard and not too soft. Chewy perfection, if you will. The secret to achieving the right texture is using a candy or frying thermometer. You need to make sure you reach the temperatures as stated in the recipe. Otherwise you could end up with extremely hard and almost burned caramels or with a gooey mess. And nobody likes either of those, am I right? A good candy thermometer shouldn’t be terribly expensive. I got mine for $9 and have been using it often. It is money well spent, friends!
For all the purists out there, I had to show you a pic of plain caramels without any toppings or fancy additions. So pretty.
Once you make your own caramels and figure out that it’s actually pretty easy, you won’t be able to go back to store-bought caramels. They don’t have the same overwhelming sweetness and have a deep brown butter flavor. So good! You could easily devour the whole pan before you know it. They are that addictive!
The deep amber or golden color induces instant feelings of comfort and indulgence. So, so fitting for this time of the year!
I wish you all a blessed and joy-filled Thanksgiving. Enjoy the incredible food and company of your loved ones. I couldn’t be more thankful for everyone that’ll be assembled at our family’s table this year. And for you!!! It means so much to me that you are reading this blog. I am so very thankful.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- Spray a piece of parchment paper (11x12) with nonstick cooking spray and line a 9x5 inch loaf pan. Set aside.
- 1. Combine the butter and heavy cream in a bowl and heat in a microwave until butter is completely melted. Set aside.
- 2. In a small saucepan, combine the water and corn syrup. Slowly and gently add the sugar, being careful not to splatter it one the sides of the pan. Using a fork, stir the sugar mixture until sugar is incorporated (being careful again not to splatter any of the mixture up the sides of the pan). Heat over medium-high until the mixture comes to a boil. Once boiling, place the lid over the pot for 1 minute to accumulate steam that will melt any potential sugar crystals. Attach the candy thermometer to the side of the pan and don't stir the mixture (only use the candy thermometer to stir if you feel the need to). Continue cooking the mixture until it reaches 320 degrees F, about 8 minutes. Once the temperature reaches 320 degrees, you will notice that the mixture turns to a golden color. This is a good sign!
- 2. Slowly add a quarter of the butter and cream mixture to the pan. The liquid will start to bubble up, but don't worry, it will go back down within seconds. Stir with the candy thermometer. Continue adding the butter and cream mixture in quarters until all of it is fully incorporated.
- 3. Bring the temperature back to 240 degrees F (for chewy caramels - 245 for slightly firmer caramels). As soon as the caramels reach the desired temperature, pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and let cool for 15 minutes. Sprinkle the caramels evenly with sea salt or according to taste. Transfer the caramels to the fridge and let cool for 3-4 hours or until completely firm.
- 4. Remove the caramels from the loaf pan by holding on to the edges of the parchment paper and place onto a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut the caramel rectangle lengthwise into 5 or 6 strips. Cut each strip into 6 caramel squares and place into a wax paper lined container or wrap in individual candy wrappers. Enjoy!
- Store the caramels in the fridge or on the counter, depending on how you like them. Caramels will last up to 7 days or 3 weeks in the freezer, if stored in an airtight container or freezer bag.