Thursday, February 20, 2014

Spiced Caramels

I love fresh homemade caramels.  Such a treat.  these are made with just a touch of pumpkin pie spice.

2  cups sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 cup brown sugar
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup milk
3 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Butter a large pan - 13x9 or so.  Set this aside for later.  Skipping the buttering step is a mistake.  Caramel sticks and is a nightmare to clean.

In a heavy pan - large 4quarts, combine everything except the vanilla.  Over medium heat, cook, swirling it around or stirring occasionally to keep it from burning.  until it boils - 10 - 15  min the cook for another 20-30 min or so again swirling it around to keep it from burning until it reaches the firm ball stage (when you drop a small amount into ice water and it forms a firm ball). I don't have a candy thermometer, so I don't know what the exact temp should be.  I have seen recipes that say between 240 and 250.

Make sure you have a large enough pan.  The sugar and cream expand a LOT and it becomes a bubbly, sputtering cauldron of molten yummy that will burn the heck out of your skin if you get splattered.

Remove from heat and then stir in the vanilla.  Pour into that pan you readied in step 1.

then cool some more

until it's COMPLETELY cool.

Cut into 1inch x 2inches pieces and wrap in plastic food wrap or wax paper.  I sometimes use butter on my hands when I am wrapping individual pieces because I get tired of having sticky  hands.

This one gets an actual F on the good for you grading scale.  Then again, how could it not?  Each tiny (1x2) piece has almost 100 calories.  It's good for a treat, but only an occasional one!

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