Sunday, February 10, 2013

The best Salted Caramels EVER

Seriously. These are THE BEST. I found this recipe at after trying a few others with no success. The recipe is easy to follow. I add a bit of vanilla to the heavy cream, and some chopped pecans to the caramel.
It was fun to use a recent monoprint as scrap paper to jot the recipe on! In making these caramels, there are two stages to the cooking. The first is to let the sugar/water/corn syrup bubble/boil (I keep the heat on low, high enough to keep bubbling but not so hot that there is any risk of burning the sugar). I don't stir during the first phase. I keep an eye on it and just as it turns a light amber color, I remove it from the heat and mix in the butter/cream/vanilla (which I pre-melt/mix in a separate pot). At that point it will bubble violently for a few seconds and I put it back over the heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon. I add the thermometer at that point and watch it creep up towards 250 while I stir with the wooden spoon. It usually takes about 10-15 minutes to get up to temperature.
I line a 9x12 pan with parchment paper and sprinkle some chopped pecans on the bottom. After the caramel solution hits ~245-250, I immediately pour it into the pan. I set the pan in the fridge for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes I remove the pan and sprinkle on some fleur de sel (chunky/flaky salt). After a few more minutes in the fridge, I remove the parchment from the pan and put the parchment/caramel sheet back into the fridge for 20 more minutes. Then I use a hot knife to cut it into strips then squares.
Then I pull out the wax paper factory and get to rolling those caramels into a nice long shape, perfect for sharing!
Try it! They're so wonderful!

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