first let me just say that pinterest will have you believing you can do anything. anything. so my crazy butt got the idea from the many pins i saw there and pinned onto my sweet sweetness board to make caramels as Christmas gifts for my family.
what an adventure it’s been.
i had three (well, really sorta four) different recipes i chose to use. you can find them here:
vanilla caramels with sea salt (no corn syrup required!)
and woowee, i had some serious mishaps. with my first attempt to make the soft and chewy caramels, my candy didn’t look caramel colored and wasn’t really candy at all. i should’ve just cubed it and used it for coffee, but instead i dumped it and pressed on to create caramel success!
i straight burned my next attempt. see how dark the sugar is? yeah, that sucka started smoking in no time. at first i was all yaaaaaay, it looks amber, you know, like caramel and then the smoke. so yeah, ding ding…time for round three!
then finally, i had real actual caramel. say whaaaat? i did it!! i watched the pot and the candy thermometer like a hawk and afterwards i was high-fiving myself ready to put sugar daddy out of business.
this pretty slab that was supposed to be soft and chewy cooled, but honey, it was as hard as a frickin’ brick. seriously, i almost broke my hand trying to cut this stuff. it tastes pretty good, however, i wouldn’t suggest that anyone actually try to chew it.
it’d probably snatch a crown out. and any loose teeth you may have. but anyway… i had to keep it moving.
for my next attempt i ventured onto the coconut caramels. and it was instant success! yaaaaaaay, me!!! it’s tasty too. by the way, i don’t know if it’s supposed to be spotty like that, but whatever. tastes like caramel to me.
the coconut batch, which uses coconut milk instead of heavy cream, wasn’t as hard as the first successful batch, but it was still quite a challenge to cut. i had my handy dandy tropical traditions gold label virgin coconut oil nearby to grease the knife so that it wouldn’t stick to the candy as the recipe suggested. i also used this oil to grease my pans before pouring in the caramel mixture.
it was rough but i finally got that stuff cut. my palm was red and swollen, y’all. red and swollen. *whew* it was a doozy.
maybe because i have sucky knives.
next up was the vanilla caramels with sea salt which uses honey instead of corn syrup. these puppies came out really, really soft. and to be honest, i’m on the fence about the flavor. i’m not really a huge honey fan, but hey, someone else might like them, right?
so after all of my tries to get this candy the right color and consistency and taste i’ve determined that i will probably never attempt to make caramels again. it’s too much like chemistry and well, i got a d in chemistry (but a’s and b’s in everything else!!!) in high school.
one recipe writer gave a particular temperature to cook the caramel at and then she mentioned that she probably needed to cook at that temp because she lived at a high altitude. what?? and should i even get into the comments i read under the recipes about humidity and making candy while it’s raining outside?
caramel is too just daggone finicky for the kid.
next year, i’m making cookies.