Need a stocking stuffer, secret santa, party favour or just general emergency gift? A bag of juicy, spicy and slightly boozy caramels fit the bill nicely. And they are very quick to throw together for any festive crisis you encounter. They keep for a couple weeks in an airtight container + parchment wrappers at room temperature.
Candy making is slightly intimidating, it needs a bit of precision and it can also hurt you real bad. Sugar burns are awful, so please be very careful adding things to boiling sugar and pouring the caramels. Also, I highly recommend not setting your sugar on fire, setting off all the smoke alarms, alarming & annoying the other building residents, having to call the charming fire-people to come turn the stupid thing off and ruining a perfectly good pan, as I did once making caramel. Just stay there and watch your caramel like a hawk. Despite these potential stumbling blocks, candy making is pretty easy if you have a reliable thermometer and lots of fun.
Adapted from Bon Appetit
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 cups apple juice, preferably cloudy
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 5 tbs butter
- 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
- 4 tbs spiced whiskey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Line an 8"x8" square pan with parchment.
Combine juice, sugars and cinnamon in a medium pan and cook on high heat until mixture registers 280° on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and and cream butter and salt. The sugar will bubble up-be careful. Return to heat until mixture reaches 250°. Add whiskey and vanilla. Pour caramel into prepared pan and chill until firm.
Slice into small rectangles and wrap in parchment squares.
Photos: Tyrel Hiebert