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Jump to the Recipe I love homemade gifts! These caramel candies are my go-to gift. They can be flavored a million different ways, wrapped in cute packaging, and shipped anywhere in world. I created this recipe while working for a local restaurant. We would give one piece to every guest as they paid their bill. They became iconic in my family too, a favorite gift for Christmas or birthdays.
My sister even asked me to make them as favors at her wedding. Caramel is one of my favorite things to make. I love watching sugar transition from granules to liquid, and then to slowly take on that auburn sheen. But the danger makes it all the more fun. Many home cooks are scared to attempt homemade caramel, as it is known to crystallize quite easily. But there are a few tricks you can use to minimize this risk:.
This step is optional. If you want to add some extra flavor to your caramel candies, start by steeping the cream. You can be so creative with your flavor combinations. Basically, if it will flavor the cream, it will work in your caramel. To steep the cream, pour it into a medium-sized pot with the flavoring of Carmel swirl seeks confectioner choice. Place on medium heat until the cream scalds. It will begin to bubble around the edges, then it will quickly grow and fill the pot before turning into a boil.
Be sure to keep a close eye on the cream as it grows, and turn off the heat as soon as this bubbling begins! Otherwise, your cream will bubble up over the pot and create a huge mess all over your stove. Let the cream cool completely, then strain out the flavorings if necessary.
Caramel is nothing more than cooked sugar. As the temperature of sugar rises, it goes through a series of phases. Each phase alters the structure of the sugar, changing the texture it will have once cooled to room temperature. The next phase to follow is caramel — when the sugar begins to take on a brown hue and lovely flavor, and then finally a dark burn. While in the first four phases, sugar is quite delicate, and any disruption will lead to crystallization.
The sugar seizes into tough granules and refuses to ever dissolve. Unfortunately, once crystallized, the damage is irreversible. But there are plenty of ways to reduce this risk:. Make sure that the pot and any utensils are completely clean.
Any kind of unwanted debris could cause the sugar to sieze. Add a bit of water to the mixture before cooking. This will help the sugar to dissolve more evenly. As the sugar cooks, use a pastry brush to paint water along the sides of the pot in order to dissolve any bits of sugar that have stuck to it. The addition of corn syrup also aids in preventing crystallization, as glucose holds a stronger bond than sucrose. The corn syrup also creates the smooth, gooey end texture for the candy —keeping it soft and chewy.
Cook the sugar, water, and corn syrup over high heat. It will begin to bubble rapidly, then Carmel swirl seeks confectioner will see the bubbles slow down and grow much larger. Soon, the liquid will begin to take on a bit of color. Watch closely at this point — that color will spread very quickly.
Once the entirety of the mixture has taken on a nice brown hue, turn off the heat and slowly add the cream. The darker the color, the more bitter the caramel will be. When making candy, I prefer to keep the caramel quite light, but others like a deep color.
It is up to you to stop the cooking at whatever temperature your taste buds deem best.
Feel free to experiment with this, and try different stopping points for different batches. When you pour in the cream, be sure to do so slowly and whisk vigorously.
Introducing cold cream to the super hot caramel will cause an immediate burst of steam. After the cream has been fully incorporated, add the butter and whisk until melted and smooth. This is okay; it simply cooled faster than the rest of the mixture.
As you re-cook the caramel in step six, it will melt back down and be incorporated into the rest of the candy. After the butter and cream have been fully incorporated, turn the heat back on low. This temperature is very important. Stir the pot every 3 minutes during this second phase of cooking, to make sure that it is heated evenly throughout.
Meanwhile, prepare a pan for the candy to cool in. This is a small baking tray with tall sides. Line with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Carefully pour the mixture into the prepared sheet tray. Keep in mind that caution is important here — it is very, very hot! Just a small drip on your skin would lead to a very painful burn. Then cut into small pieces, wrap in cellophane or parchment, and give away. Or, of course, you could always eat them all up yourself!
This caramel recipe is only one of many among our 23 top favorite holiday candies. Make sure to check them all out! At the holiday season, for birthdays or party favors, homemade caramels make an Carmel swirl seeks confectioner gift. Though details are important, when it comes to this recipe, the delicious are so worth the effort. For even more homemade candy recipe ideas, check out our round-up postwith selections from some of our favorite bloggers.
Have you made caramel candies before?
Does the process make you nervous? Let me know any other questions you might have in the comments below. And make sure to check out all of our Christmas inspired recipes as well as all our dessert ideas. See our TOS for more details. From baking muffins on a ship in West Africa and milking cows with Tanzanian Maasai, to hunting down the finest apfelstrudel in Austria, she continually seeks to understand the global impact of food. Based in Somerville, Massachusetts, Kendall helps to run a small community supported bread bakery and writes about the intersection of food, faith, and culture on her personal blog, A Vanderslice of the Sweet Life.
Now these look addictive. Seriously, I might need to put a lock on these if anyone else is going to get to try them! Hi Kendall! Thanks for a great recipe. What degree exactly should the temperature get to before it is time to stir in the cream please?
If corn syrup is unavailable can you please recommend substitutes? Trying to get chewy but not leaky caramel candies. A higher temperature will result in darker, more firm candies. It also burns less easily than other types of sweeteners. Some candymakers have also experimented with making their own cane-based invert sugar, by simmering simple Carmel swirl seeks confectioner with an acidic ingredient like cream of tartar or citric acid added to the mixture.
I am an avid caramel maker and this method looks lovely. Does the quick stirring at the end introduce lots of little crystals?Carmel swirl seeks confectioner
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