If you haven't spent the holidays with Full Circle Foodie before, I'd like to extend a warm welcome. This is my fifth year executing my "Baked with Love" project where I bake a variety of cookies and candies and then package them up all pretty to give, with love, to coworkers, friends and family.
Each year, I incorporate tried and true traditions as well as new recipes that I am equally excited about. Grab some hot cocoa and enjoy your stay as my 2012 Box of Love unfolds before your eyes!
With the help of a candy thermometer, making delicious caramels is nothing more than a touch of patience over the stove. Perfect caramels can be achieved every time as long as the desired temperature is reached at each stage. Sweet apple and distinct winter spices made these caramels too delicious to not include in another round of boxes. A sprinkle of delicate sea salt at the end will also enhance these flavors to the next level.
Apple Cider Caramels
2 cups high quality apple juice, like Simply Apple
1 cup heavy cream, divided
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
- Boil apple juice in a medium saucepan until it reduces to 1/3 of a cup; approximately 20-30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Prepare an 8x8" baking dish by lining it with parchment paper and spraying with non-stick cooking spray. Make sure parchment paper covers the sides.
- Mix reduced apple juice with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and 2/3 cup heavy cream. Set aside.
- In a large, heavy bottomed saucepan, heat sugar, the remaining 1/3 cup heavy cream plus enough water to reach 1/2 cup, and corn syrup over low heat until dissolved.
- Simmer mixture until it reaches 234 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove from heat and stir in apple cider mixture and butter until fully incorporated and smooth.
- Return to heat and cook on low heat until caramel mixture reaches 248 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Poor caramel into prepared pan and allow to cool completely before cutting.
- Remove caramel from pan and cut into desired size. Wrap with 4x4" squares of candy foil or wax paper.