Saturday, October 1, 2011

Honey Caramels

Ahhh...smooth, creamy, buttery caramels.  And with the enticing flavor of honey, not intrusive, but just subtle in the background.  Candy perfection!
This recipe is adapted from one, credited to Alice Medrich, on Leite's Culinaria.  As with a lot of candies, these take a bit of time at the stove.  The results, though, are delightful and well worth the effort.

Honey Caramels
Adapted from Leite's Culinaria

1/2 cup honey (I used clover)
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 cups sugar
3/8 tsp salt
2 cups heavy cream
3 tbsp butter, cut into pieces
3 tsp vanilla extract

1.  Line a 9" X 9" square baking dish with parchment paper.  Get ready a pastry brush and fill a small bowl with water.  Set aside.

2.  Stir the honey, corn syrup, sugar, and salt together in a large saucepan (have the lid ready) set over medium heat.  Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to simmer around the edges.

3.  Brush the sides of the pan down with water using the pastry brush (errant sugar crystals can ruin the candy).  Cover the pan with the lid and cook for 3 minutes.

4.  Uncover the pan.  Attach a candy thermometer to the side.  Cook, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 305°.

5.  While the mixture cooks, heat the cream in a pan until it just beings to simmer.  Remove from the heat and keep warm.

6.  Remove the sugar mixture from the heat.  Stir in the butter until melted.  Slowly stir the cream into the mixture.  The cream will foam - do not add too much at a time or it will boil over.

7.  Return the pan to medium-low heat.  Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 250°.

8.  Remove the pan from the heat.  Stir in the vanilla.

9.  Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.  Let the candy cool completely.

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