October 26, 2015

Bourbon Salted Caramels

I've made caramels only once before, these Apple Cider Caramels, which I remember being so delicious that I wanted to make them again this fall. But when I saw these caramels with bourbon from Spicy Perspective, I knew I had to make them for my friend's birthday because she's a bourbon girl.

They are good, although it's a bit tedious to wrap an entire batch of caramels by yourself. (Thankfully my husband helped cut more wrappers as I wrapped, which helped.) It's still worth the effort, considering I filled an entire quart jar for my friend, took a bunch into work, kept a few at home and took a bunch to my brother when I visited him in Iowa.

I still think I need to pull out a jug of apple cider to thaw for the other caramels. 
Bourbon Salted Caramels
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup salted butter
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup bourbon
1 Tbsp. vanilla 
Course or flake sea salt
Place the sugars, heavy cream, butter, corn syrup and bourbon in a large (and I mean large) sauce pot. (My pot was on the verge of boiling over, so I had to switch pots mid-process.) Attach a candy thermometer to the edge of the pot with the tip touching the ingredients, and then place over medium heat.
Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Allow the mixture to simmer until it reaches 245-250°F and is the desired color you like for caramel. If the temperature starts rising faster than the caramel is browning, lower the heat even more to give it time to caramelize.
Meanwhile, line a 9 X 13 baking dish with parchment paper. Spray the parchment with non-stick cooking spray. (The original recipe calls for testing the caramel and you can find instructions how in the original link, but I did it by temperature when it was about 248°F.) Once it's ready, remove from heat, and stir in the vanilla extract.
Carefully pour the caramel into the prepared dish, and allow it to cool completely. You can speed up the cooling process by placing the dish in the refrigerator. Once cooled, sprinkle generously with sea salt. Lift the parchment paper out of the dish by the edges, and cut caramels into 1-inch squares. Wrap each candy in small pieces of wax paper. Makes approximately 80 caramels.

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