If you are caramel crazed, these Soft Salted Caramels are the perfect treat to make — they’re absolutely addicting!
And believe me, once you make these squishy little squares of sweetness they probably won’t leave your house. Instead, these caramel candies will invade your taste buds and force you and your family to eat all of them!
You see, me and my family love anything and everything made with caramel. The sweet, rich golden brown goodness is a flavor that we all adore. To that fact, I recently made some quick and easy Caramel Sauce — it was pure heaven. My family gobbled it up — pouring it over ice cream and topping other treats, and for me, well just eating it out of the jar was the way I liked it best!
So, naturally the next thing I wanted to attempt to make were my own Soft Salted Caramels. A challenge I was looking forward to.
And lucky for me, the perfect opportunity presented itself – my friend’s work anniversary. I thought it would be a great way to celebrate his milestone. The weekend I made these, I was busy in the kitchen baking several things at once as I normally do. My hubby and son were doing their own thing, so did not really notice what I was creating in my haven.
But, after these caramel colored gems were cooling in the pan, my husband walked by and asked, “What’s that in the pan?” I proceeded to explain that they were caramel candies which I had made for a co-worker. He just looked at me strange.
When the Caramels were cool and I was in the process of cutting them, my hubby asked for a taste. Now, mind you, he normally does not like or want most of the things I make and blog about. I know it’s strange, but he is super (can we say super-duper) picky about what he eats. Again, if you follow me on a regular basis, you will know that he likes the simple and traditional recipes.
So, I guess asking for one of these Caramels was in line with the things he likes.
I reluctantly gave him a piece.
After popping it into his mouth, he looked at me and stated, “You are not brining these to the office!” And continued, “These are the best caramels I have ever tasted, you could make these and sell them they are so good.”
Wow, I was blown away. What a huge complement. I think my smile had never been larger and my heart pounded quickly!
I finally made something that he likes! And do you think I brought them to the office?
Nope. My friend got some tasty blondies instead. However, I did tell him the story about making the Caramels — we had a good chuckle and I promised to bring him some the next time I made them. That is, if I can make them in the cloak of darkness and sneak them out of the house without my family knowing about it!
But if you could get these Soft Salted Caramels out of the house, they would be great to give to friends and family as a holiday treat.
Soft Salted Caramels
1 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/8 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Extra salt for garnish
Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper so that the edges hang over the sides, then lightly oil parchment (you can use non-stick spray, vegetable oil or unsalted butter).
In a small saucepan, warm the cream, butter, and salt over medium heat until the butter melts. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large heavy saucepan, add the sugar, corn syrup, and water. Stir until sugar is dissolved over medium-high heat. Clip on your candy thermometer and let boil, without stirring, until mixture is a light golden caramel. Your mixture should reach between 250 degrees F and 300 degrees F.
Take the pan off the heat and gently and carefully whisk in cream mixture. Be careful here, as the mixture will bubble up. Return mixture to medium heat and let simmer (lightly boiling), until the caramel registers 245 degrees F to 250 degrees F on the thermometer. Note, this will take about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and quickly whisk in the vanilla.
Pour into prepared pan and let cool — approximately 2 hours. When the caramels have set. Remove caramels and parchment paper and place on cutting board. To make the cutting easier, rub a little unsalted butter on both sides of the knife-edge. Cut into pieces (small or large – your choice), sprinkle with a little salt on top desired. You can keep these covered with plastic wrap or for gifts, wrap each piece in a 4-inch square of wax paper, twisting 2 ends to close. Makes approximately 50 candies.
And yes, you guessed it, my family devoured these Soft Salted Caramels in no time flat. Once you make this confection, you’ll never buy store-bought again! For me, I think it’s time to make another batch!