Last week, I baked.
And baked and baked and baked.
Seriously. Kyle was out of town for work so I had NO structure in my day. Brownies for breakfastlunchpredinnersnack? Sure! Then force down a healthy dinner even though I’m not at all hungry to make up for it? Smart!
Or not. I’m not sure.
I sent these caramels with Kyle to a bachelor party (cue eye roll, “I have to be that guy? The one who brings treats?’) because I’d already eaten too many while wrapping them. Wrap one, eat one, repeat. He said everyone loved them, but that might just be the gentleman in him making me feel good about my hobbies. I’ll take the compliment either way.
They’re the perfect chewiness, not sticking to your teeth. Use a good-quality butter and its flavor will shine through. Substitute whiskey for hazelnut and won’t be disappointed, either.
I’d be lying to you if I said it was super easy. Take a look at my first batch ^ ew. Grainy in the middle, toffee-like around the edges. But follow the directions EXACTLY and you’ll do just fine. Read through them once or twice before you get started. As you can imagine, I skipped that the first time around. A candy thermometer also would have helped…good thing my birthday is coming up.
salted hazelnut liquor caramels
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup hazelnut liquor or your favorite whiskey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon kosher (coarse) salt
1 1/2 cups sugar1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Prepare the pan. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper all the way up the sides.
Make the butter and cream mixture. Combine the first five ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring frequently so it doesn’t burn. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Make the sugar syrup. Stir sugar, corn syrup and water together in a 3 quart pot with a candy thermometer (optional), turn the heat to medium-high, and let. it. be. until it reaches 310 degrees. You DO NOT WANT TO STIR this, as it will cause the sugar to recrystalize and give you grainy caramel. ICK. Once it’s boiling, use your wet brush to wash the sides of the pot to dissolve any sugar granules. Just dip the brush in water, wipe off excess, and slowly brush across any sugar stuck to the inside. Once the mixture turns amber, you’re there. If you’re using a candy thermometer (which I didn’t have but would have loved) you want it to reach 310 degrees. It will look a little something like the photo below. This step, from what I’ve learned, can be fairly flexible since it can be anywhere from 250-325 degrees and still survive. Just don’t let it burn!
Whisk in the cream mixture. Turn off the heat to do this step. Watch out, it will boil and bubble a ton.
Heat the caramel to 248 degrees. Using a whisk, stir frequently for about 15-20 minutes until your thermometer reaches 245-250 degrees. It will bubble the whole time, but once it begins to look really thick, like the bubbles don’t easily cave back in when popped, you’re almost there. Without a candy thermometer, I used the soft-ball test*. It’s not difficult, but was a little stressful to have to keep checking. The caramel should turn a shade or two darker than when you first poured in the cream.
Pour the caramel into the pan. Let it cool for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the sea salt and cool completely.
Wrap one, eat one, repeat. Cut into pieces and wrap with parchment paper.
*To do the soft-ball test, have a spoon and a dish of ice-cold water next to the stove. When you think you’re caramel is close to done, take a spoonful of it and swish around in the water for 3 or 4 seconds. If you scoop it off the spoon with your fingers it should form a ball that won’t quite hold its shape.
caramel recipe thanks to so, how’s it taste?