Saturday, December 31, 2011

Caramels (a few days to make)

From Aunt Heidi's kitchen:

2 c. white sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter
1/8 t. salt
1 c. corn syrup
1 c. heavy cream
1 T. vanilla

70% dark chocolate (Heidi says from Trader Joes)
The chocolate is important! Otherwise, they spread out.

Sea salt to top.

8 by 11 1/2 baking dish or something similar. Line smoothly with foil then butter the foil for easy removal later.

Melt butter over medium heat. Add chocolate, sugar, salt, syrup and cream. Cover and boil 5 minutes. Uncover and boil slowly, stirring until firm ball stage (248F). (If you have a cup of cool water to dump some caramel in it will tell you if it is the right consistency. You should still use a candy thermometer. Make sure your children are asleep during this part and don't cook them when you are sleepy!) Remove from heat. Add vanilla and stir. Pour into a foil-lined and buttered dish.

Let cool to room temperature. It can sit out for the next day.

Flip pan onto cutting board and peel off foil.

Cut with a sharp knife. (If you cooked them too long, they will be a pain to cut! The ice water test will help you with this part.)

Then freeze on wax paper so they hold their shape. (Also, makes them easier to dip later.)

Melt the chocolate slowly in the microwave, stirring frequently. You want a deep pool of chocolate in a small counter.

Use a fork to turn in the chocolate then put it on wax paper. Then sprinkle with a little sea salt.

You can cool the chocolate in the fridge if you want the chocolate to set more quickly but do not store in the fridge because the condensation on the chocolate will ruin the finish, the caramels will be too hard and the chocolate texture will change.

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