In our house, the purchase of a random kitchen tool implies the immediate preparation of food by said tool. Ie. 2 months ago, Will gave me a candy thermometer and for 2 months I’ve been hearing “Where’s my caramel?”
I have no candy making experience what so ever. It really intimidated me. We have been half heartedly trying to lose weight for months and I had no intention of contributing to the problem. But, It’s Fall. After September 22nd, carmel is only second to pumpkin in the flavor department. All things in moderation, right?
On Tuesday, I grew some huevos and called my son into the kitchen. I began by checking my thermometer. It’s muy importante to calibrate your thermometer before each use. To do so suspend it in boiling water. Do not let it touch the bottom or you’ll end up with a false reading. If your termometer reads 212 F, you’re golden. Otherwise, adjust your cooking temps accordingly.
The truly wonderful thing about this recipe is that you throw nearly everything into the pot at the same time (except vanilla). Not so wonderful was the 1 hour cook time. Yeesh! I kept stirring hoping the 400+ reviewers knew what they were talking about.
I poured the finished caramel into a greased 9″ x 13″ pan to cool. To me, this tasted like super fresh store bought caramel. This was what caramel was supposed to taste like. I was thrilled. It just needed to be wrapped.
I had envisioned perfect little hand-cut caramel cubes just like the ones seen in the original recipe. At first, I was using a paring knife for the job, but as I went to separate the pieces from one another, they stretched and I lost my clean lines. I’m not sure how experienced candy makers cut their caramel but this girl picked up her scissors.
I also found that cutting the candy into logs was much easier to wrap. It was tedious work but my candy dish look fabulous. That is, until it came time to unwrap them. Caramel really needs to be at room temperature before you wrap or it will stick to the paper. These were really stuck. Nearly half of the bowl remains because it’s simply too much trouble. The more you know…
We chose to leave the majority of this batch unwrapped. We’ve been cutting the pieces as we go along and it’s great. No piles of candy wrappers to spur your guilt. So would I make this again? Absolutely! I can definitely see this as my go to caramel recipe for years to come. Happy Fall!