I was looking for something to make to take to holiday gatherings…something yummy and sweet and a little unique. While caramels themselves are not unique, adding some flavors is something I haven’t experienced in my circles so this sounded like the perfect venture for me.
Here are all the caramels I made:
- Apple Cider Caramels
- White Chocolate Mocha Latte Caramels (recipe says Coffee Caramels)
- Egg Nog and Rum Caramels – see below
- And I did make some plain as well, just for the heck of it.
Apple Cider Caramel Notes
The recipe was fairly easy and I followed it pretty close. I didn’t have any of the flaky salt they mentioned and couldn’t find it at our local grocery store so I used kosher salt instead. I also made a couple of batches, one with the apple cider recommended in the recipe and then one with apple cider found in the juice section. Although the original recipe says there is a different, I really couldn’t taste one.
White Chocolate Mocha Caramel Notes
This recipe was also pretty easy. I had a pack of instant coffee I’d received in the mail from Starbucks so that’s where the flavor came from. You could use any flavor (including plain) in these. I did go a little heavier on the coffee because of what was in the packet and no other reason. I used about 4 Tbsp of coffee in mine. These were the big winner at my hubby’s work. I even got a marriage proposal out of it!
Egg Nog and Rum Caramel Notes
These I created on my own by modifying other recipes. I’ve included the recipe below.
- 1 cup butter
- 2¼ cups packed brown sugar
- 2 cups egg nog
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon rum extract
- Line an 8x8x2 baking pan with parchment paper. Do two sheets criss cross so you can cover the sides and use the paper to lift the caramels out of the pan.
- In 3-quart heavy saucepan, melt butter over low heat.
- Add brown sugar, egg nog, and corn syrup and mix well.
- Stir frequently over med-high heat until mixture boils.
- Add candy thermometer to pan, continue to stir and cook over medium heat until thermometer reaches 248 degrees, also known as the firm ball stage. Watch closely as the temp can rise quickly near the end.
- Remove pan from heat and add rum extract. Stir well.
- Quickly poor into lined pan.
- Let stand until firm. This takes about 2 hours but will go quicker in the fridge.
- Cut into small piece using a buttered knife. I use olive oil spray on mine and it worked well. I kept a paper towel handy and kept wiping the knife, initially to remove the excess and then to keep it oiled. It worked really well.
- Wrap each piece in a piece of waxed paper. Store at room temp or in the fridge or even freezer for longer freshness. Just remember to give some time for them to warm up once you take them out of the fridge or freezer before serving.