Sunday, December 25, 2011

Vanilla and sea salt caramels

Merry Christmas to you all, I hope that you had a great time with your family. It is interesting to me how different Christmas traditions can be from one family to another. I grew up mostly with German traditions in a mixed Catholic and Protestant family. As a child we would always spend Christmas at my gran parents’, when I was young we would go to church with my dad and gran ma on Christmas eve and then come home and open the presents. This is how I would like to keep it (minus the church part…). This year it was just my mom and I, Matt was with his family, so it was just a quiet dinner, recipe will be published soon.

I am sharing a candy recipe today, I made a lot of caramel this year, I am deeply in love with caramel, even though it is a dangerous thing to work with, it can lead to some nasty burns so please be careful. This recipe leads to a deliciously chewy caramel that will stick to your teeth, it reminds me of something in between a French candy called Carambar and hard toffee candy. You should give it a try, they are really easy, the toughest part is wrapping them... Luckily Matt was kind enough to do that for me, I really don't care for it.

Vanilla and sea salt caramels
Recipe adapted from Brown eyed baker
- 1 c cream (light ok)
- 5 tbsp butter, diced
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
- 1¼ tsp sea salt
- 1½ c sugar
- ¼ c light corn syrup
- ¼ c water

 - Line an 8-inch buttered square baking pan with parchment paper, then lightly butter parchment.
- Bring cream, butter, vanilla extract, vanilla bean paste, and sea salt to a boil in a small saucepan, then remove from heat and set aside.
 - Bring the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a medium to large heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil, without stirring but gently swirling pan, until mixture is a light golden caramel (don't be too shy w it, it has to be golden).

- Carefully stir cream mixture into the caramel (mixture will bubble up) and simmer, stirring frequently, until caramel registers 248 on thermometer. Pour immediately into the prepared baking pan and cool completely 
- Cut into about 1-inch square pieces, and then wrap each piece in a 4-inch square of wax paper, twisting 2 ends to close.

Enjoy!! (and share ;) )

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