Day 8: Caramel
Like toffee, caramel is one of those things that I could eat every day. I love a good caramel, especially if it has a sprinkling of sea salt. I have made several recipes for caramels in the past and have loved them all. Basically, I am learning with this whole candy making enterprise is that the candies I love the best all involve burnt sugar, otherwise known as caramel.
For today’s post, I veered from the traditional caramel path and tried Apple Cider Caramels. We had a stray jug of apple cider in the fridge left from making fruitcake and instead of letting it go to vinegar, like I usually do, I decided to try to use it.
I used this recipe, except I did not already have the concentrated boiled cider. I just took two cups of cider and boiled it down until it was a half cup.
Unlike yesterday’s candy, once this one reached the right temp, it was easy peasy work to just pour it into a pan and wait for it to cool.
I did not wait for the full amount of time before I started cutting because caramels have a tendency to cool hard and then become very difficult to cut. We let it cool until I was sure the candies wouldn’t lose their shape too much when we cut them, but were still manageable with a good pair of greased scissors. You could use a knife, but I found that the candy kept sticking to it, no matter how much I oiled it. Scissors worked best.
We really like these caramels. They have a lighter flavor than the traditional caramels and really do taste like spiced cider. Be careful, though, these candies have already claimed the tooth of a little friend of ours and I once lost a crown to a caramel. Eating caramels can be hazardous.
Still, the taffy and the caramels together will make fun little gifts for the boys’ friends and I am sure some of them will make their way into the candy box I am giving away at the end of the week. So, leave your comment for a chance to win! The boys and I are enjoying a lot of Christmas music as we are candy making. A Charlie Brown’s Christmas is a current fave as well as Handel’s Messiah. What is your favorite Christmas song/piece?