soft and chewy honey caramels with macadamia
It's good to start the new year with sweet sweet stuff and what could be better than salted honey caramels loaded with nuts or enrobed in dark chocolate. The soft chewy silky buttery caramels are so yummy and utterly addicting. I thought of dipping them in melted chocolate, saw this cookie and caramel candy, baked a few crunchy brown sugar meringue cookies, melted some dark bitter chocolate and had the most delicious chocolate treat ever!
brown sugar cookies layered with honey caramel and enrobed in bitter chocolate
recipe adapted from Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich
2 cups coarsely chopped walnut or macadamia pieces, optional
¾ cup light corn syrup
¼ cup honey
2 cups sugar
3/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks and softened
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil and grease the foil. If using walnuts, spread them in the prepared pan.
- Combine the syrup, honey, sugar, and salt in a heavy 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring with a silicone spatula, until the mixture simmers around the edges. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Uncover the pan, attach a candy thermometer to the saucepan, and cook uncovered, without stirring until the mixture reaches 305°F.
- Meanwhile, heat the cream in a small saucepan until tiny bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Turn off heat and cover the pan to keep the cream hot.
- When the mixture is at 305°F, turn off the heat and stir in the butter chunks. Gradually stir in the hot cream; it will bubble up and steam dramatically. Turn the heat back on until the mixture boils. Stir until smooth. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, to about 245°F. Then cook, stirring constantly to 248°F for soft chewy caramels or 250°F for firmer chewy caramels.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour the caramel into the lined pan. Let stand for 4 to 5 hours or overnight until firm.
- Lift the pan liner from the pan and invert the sheet of caramel onto a sheet of parchment paper. Peel off the liner and turn the caramel right side up. Cut the caramel into desired size. Wrap individually in wax paper or cellophane.