This is an oldie but a goodie, just in time for the holidays.
APPLE CIDER CARAMELS
- 4 cups apple cider
- 2 teaspoons fleur de sel (or other flaky sea salt)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- Boil the apple cider in a 3- to 4-quart saucepan over high heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to a dark, thick syrup, between ⅓-cup and ½-cup in volume. This could take anywhere from 35 to 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper, leaving excess hanging over the sides. In a small bowl, stir together the fleur de sel and ground cinnamon.
- Once the apple cider has finished reducing, remove it from the heat and stir in the butter, sugars and heavy cream. Return the pot to medium-high heat with a candy thermometer attached to the side of the pan, and let boil until the thermometer reads 252 degrees F, only about 5 minutes or so.
- Immediately remove the caramel from heat, add the cinnamon-salt mixture, and stir several times with a wooden spoon. Pour the caramel into the prepared pan. Let sit until cool and firm, about 2 hours.
- Once the caramel is firm, use the parchment overhangs to lift it out of the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Using a very sharp knife (or large pizza cutter – my secret slicing weapon of choice) coated with non-stick cooking spray, cut the caramel into 1-inch squares. (You may need to re-spray the knife or pizza cutter multiple times while cutting.)
- Wrap each caramel in a 4-inch square of wax paper, twisting the sides to close. The caramels can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
(Recipe from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook)