apple cider caramels

apple cider caramelsThis fall, I feel like I’ve been hearing about apple cider caramels everywhere.  I’ve made vanilla bean caramels before, and I kept thinking to myself, how much different could these really be?  I mean, I love pumpkin spice and apple cider and all those fall flavors, but would it really shine through in a caramel?

apple cider caramels 2

The tipping point that finally pushed me to make these was when Annie over at Annie’s Eats described having the exact same reservations that I had always had.  She said the apple cider flavor came through, and it certainly did, loud and clear.  These are unlike any other caramels I have had before, and in such a good way.  They taste like a chewy little bite of pure apple cider, with a hint of cinnamon for good measure.

I loved these caramels, and I can certainly see myself making them again in the future (Christmas gifts, anyone?).  The only thing that drives me nuts about making caramels is cutting all those little parchment squares to wrap the individual candies in – there’s got to be a better way! Any suggestions, anyone?

Ingredients

  •  4 cups apple cider
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (3.75 ounces) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup  heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 heaping teaspoon flaky sea salt, plus more for sprinkling (I used fleur de sel)

Directions

Line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper; set aside.

In a 2-quart saucepan, heat the apple cider over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat slightly, keeping the cider at a boil.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the cider has reduced to 1/2 a cup (it will be thick and syrupy).  This should take about an hour (this is a rough estimate; keep an eye on it as you get closer!).

Once reduced, stir in the butter, sugars and heavy cream.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 252°F on a candy or instant-read thermometer.  As soon as it comes to temperature, remove from the heat and stir in the cinnamon and sea salt.  Pour into the prepared baking pan.

Let stand until completely set (at least a few hours, or overnight).  Remove from the baking pan using the parchment paper as a sling.  Sprinkle with additional sea salt.  Using a lightly oiled pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the caramel into 1-inch squares.  Wrap in squares of parchment paper, twisting the ends to seal shut.  Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

Yield: 64 caramels

Source: Smitten Kitchen via Annie’s Eats

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Comments

  1. they look yummy!

  2. Solano's Kitchen says:

    Thanks Dina!

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