Tuesday, September 27, 2011
The most wonderful time...
I love the fall. My birthday is in the fall. I got married in the fall. We often vacation in the fall. I love the warm days and cool nights, those days when you can sport shorts and a sweatshirt. Ahhhh... the fall.
When I saw this next recipe I thought it screamed the fall. I had all of the ingredients on hand, so I gave it a try. The directions were real easy to follow.
The hardest part for me was pouring it from the dutch oven into the prepared pan. I was using a wooden spoon to scrap the pot and some dripped off the spoon onto my hand and I saw stars. I was able to immediately get the hand under cold running water but the damage was done, blistered immediately. So if anyone is going to attempt these caramels for themselves be careful.
Slicing them up was a little challenging as well. I followed the recipes suggestion to cut long "logs" and let whomever I share them with cut them themselves.
They are a tasty treat, and the hint of cider was just the right amount for me.
Apple Cider Caramels
from Blondies Cakes & Things
2 cup high-quality apple cider
1 cup heavy cream or whipping cream, divided
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup real butter, cubed
- Pour cider into a medium saucepan and boil on high for about 20 minutes or until the cider is reduced to 1/3 c. Keep an eye on it...it might try to run away. Set aside to cool.
- Line an 8" square pan with parchment paper, making sure to leave about 1" hanging over the edges for easy removal. Coat with a bit of vegetable oil and set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine 2/3 c. cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and reduced apple cider. Set aside.
- In a large, heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, 1/3 c. whipping cream + enough water to reach the 1/2 c. line on the measuring cup, and corn syrup. Cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Insert the candy thermometer and simmer until the syrup reaches 234 degrees.
- Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the cream mixture. Add the cubed butter and stir until the cream and butter are fully incorporated. Return the pan to heat and re-insert the candy thermometer. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the temperature reaches 248 degrees.
- Remove from heat and pour the caramel into the prepared pan. Let the mixture cool completely at room temperature or in the refrigerator. I covered the top with saran wrap and left it out overnight. You could cut the caramels into 1/2" squares and wrap each caramel in wax paper, but I'm lazy so I cut the caramel into 1/2" logs, which meant that I had exponentially fewer pieces to individually wrap. Store in an airtight container or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Warning: This can cause a serious burn if it comes in contact with skin, and can be damaging to your waistline.