Monday, February 9, 2009

I Made Caramels

Patty just made caramels and licked the spatula, the candy thermometer, the pot and the wooden spoon...somedays I am really happy not to have kids.

Yes, I'm pretending this is Facebook and giving you my status. The caramels are cooling off in the fridge but based on what I was tasting off of various kitchen items earlier, they are really good. I used a recipe from Ina Garten (thanks, Jenn) for fleur de sel caramels and just substituted a couple of pinches of kosher salt in place of the "hand-harvested sea salt collected by workers who scrape only the top layer of salt before it sinks to the bottom" (thanks, Wikipedia). I would like to try making the caramels with the fleur de sel sometime though.

So, let's see...I've made marshmallows, English toffee and now caramel candies. I think peanut brittle is next on the list. Or butterscotch candies. Or maybe pralines. In case you were wondering what the differences were (and so was I so I had to Google it), it depends on the temperature the syrup, that will eventually become your candy, must reach when you're cooking it. For example, if you're making butterscotch, the boiling syrup is cooked to the soft-crack (270°-290°) stage, but for toffee, it's cooked longer and until it hits the hard-crack stage 300°-310°).

And, before you guys send the Diabetes Police to come and arrest me, yes, I admit I am eating this stuff (in moderation), but I really am interested in the whole experience of making it from scratch. I'll probably try pasta, (homemade ravioli is on my to-do list), once I work through all the candy recipes.

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Here's my big slab o' caramel when it came out of the baking dish. Lining the pan with parchment paper made it super easy to remove it.

I did not finish the caramels the way you're supposed to once they've cooled. I just cut my slab into one inch wide strips and then cut the strips into bite-size pieces. I also did not wrap them up individually the way Ina does for her pals in the Hamptons. I placed them in a single layer on some wax paper and then stacked the layers in the fridge. They should be fine that way.

And, of course I had to taste one several. I even ate the one I knocked on to the floor as I was cutting them. (Three second rule!) These caramels are SO GOOD! Chewy, gooey and buttery. If you're a caramel fiend like I am, you must make them.

That's a horrible picture but my camera is about to die so it will have to do.

17 comments:

Norma said...

Try my micowave peanut brittle recipe on my blog...super easy and so good.

No package yet? It went priority and have been there by Sat at the latest.

Miss 376 said...

How did you know what I was thinking? Have a couple of volunteers here for tasting

Loralynn said...

I have one word for you: YUM! But seriously, be careful, I know you can't NOT have some so make sure you keep an eye on your sugar levels!

Jane's Fabrics and Quilts said...

Do you need my address!!!! MMMM!!!!

Smilingsal said...

I adore caramels! If I had all of those, I'd eat them all!

I am Arizona; a person, not a place. said...

OMG, that looks SO good! I made caramels once and they were awful. They were dark brown and cracked and dry. Yours look heavenly! I'll have to use sea salt harvested from the Mediterranean by my husband's uncle. I'm certain it isn't kosher and he's not the type to take the time to scrape only the top layer, but its salty, so it'll work, right? ;)

Mickie said...

Hey love your blog, the caramels look awesome!!!!

Mickie said...

Hey love your blog, the caramels look awesome!!!!

Kandra said...

I love your site, but hardly comment. Just wondering - do you have a feed? I can't find a link to it.

Kandra said...

Absolutely Perfect - just what I was looking for - adding you on facebook too :D

Diane said...

In my delirious caramel daze, I bruised my fingertips trying to reach through the computer screen to eat some of those mouthwatering candies. They. Look. So. Good.

Brook said...

mmmmm so delish!!!!

Jennifer said...

Those look sooooooo yummy! Definitely going to have to make them myself.

And what is this marshmallow you speak of? Have you posted pictures here? I want to make marshmallows but am afraid of getting in over my head.

Protector of Vintage said...

Oh my! Those look delicious!!

Amy C said...

oh my delicious word, this looks incredible

Kellie said...

OH MAN! Patty!!! Those look wonderful.

bookwormbethie said...

big ol' drool! those look awesome!