Monday, January 18, 2010

Butterscotch Caramels

Who doesn't love candy? Good candy. Candy with fresh, pronounceable ingredients. I am not talking Skittles, Lemonheads and Nerds. Always a chocolate fan, the older I get, it's all about caramel.

I love butterscotch, too so combining them was reeeaally appealing. These caramels are the best I've every made. I'd spread their soft and gooey goodness on toast.

Caramels are super easy to make. Especially if you have a good tools. A heavy bottom pan, silicone spatula and good quality digital oil and candy thermometer. Check here for one like I have. This thermometer makes hot sugar a walk in the park.

What makes these caramels butterscotch? Dark brown sugar rather than granulated. Other than that the basics - butter, corn syrup, cream and water.

Bring it all to a boil and then allow to cook to a temperature of 245-250 degrees, depending upon the texture you like. We like them soft so I cook them to the lower temperature. If you prefer them firm take them up to 250 degrees. Once they reach the preferred temperature remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Don't be surprised when it bubbles up...a lot !

I lined a heavy 8" square metal (not glass) pan with buttered heavy duty (make sure it's heavy duty) aluminum foil. It works but easiest for this is a disposable aluminum pan, especially if you like softer caramels. They dump right out in a square and you can cut and wrap them all at once. Again, if you like the softer caramels, I suggest cutting the square into quarters and working on smaller quantities at a time. Soft caramels, as you can imagine, spread quickly.

Here they are - wax paper wrapped goodness. Break out of the candy box and give caramel for Valentine's Day this year.

Butterscotch Caramels
yet again, a source I can't recall

3/4 cup unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
2 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup water
1 T. lemon juice
1 t. salt
1 T. vanilla extract

Generously butter the sides and bottom of an 8" square aluminum cake pan. Place the pan ona baking sheet for stability.

In a large pot over medium-low heat, stir together the sugar, corn syrup, cream, 3/4 cup butter, water, lemon juice and salt until the sugar is dissolved and the butter is melted. Increase the heat and boil stirring occasionally with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture is golden brown and measures 245-250 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the vanilla extract.

Immediately pour the caramel into the prepared pan. Let stand at room temperature until top is set, about 20 minutes, then refrigerate (still on baking sheet) until firm enough to cut, about 2-3 hours.

Tend back the sides of the pan and invert to release the caramels onto a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut the caramels into 1" squares. Wrap each piece in a square of wax paper and store them in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. The caramels taste best if you bring them to room temperature first.

1 comment:

Georgine said...

Seriously excited you posted this recipe. Were those the caramels I had at your house that one Saturday? They were awesome!!! I may give these a try sometime soon. Thanks for the recipe!