Apple Cider Caramels

It’s fall, and everyone seems to be losing their minds over pumpkin spice.  But in my little corner of sweets, I’m all about the apples, and nothing captures the apple spirit better than these Apple Cider Caramels.  They’re a cross between a caramel apple and an apple pie.  Boiled cider makes these caramels extra apple-y and is worth the investment.  Note, in the past I’ve tried boiling down some apple cider to make boiled cider, but it turned into a big gooey, sticky mess, so now I just stick with purchasing my boiled cider.

Apple Cider Caramels - KAF 1

Apple Cider Caramels

(from King Arthur Flour)
Makes about 64 caramels
My comments are in [  ] below.

Ingredients

2 cups (1 pint, 16 ounces) heavy cream or whipping cream
1 cup (11 ounces) light corn syrup
2 cups (14 ounces) sugar
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) butter, unsalted
1/2 cup (6 ounces) boiled cider
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Apple Pie Spice or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg or allspice

Directions

  1. Lightly grease an 8″ x 8″ baking pan and line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on opposite sides.  [I prefer to use a 9″x13″ quarter sheet pan.]
  2. Combine the cream, corn syrup, sugar, butter, and boiled cider in a heavy-bottom, deep saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce to medium-high heat and cook until the mixture reaches 248°F on a candy thermometer, 20 to 30 minutes, depending on your particular stove.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat; stir in the salt and spice.
  4. Pour the hot mixture into the prepared pan. Let it stand for 12 to 18 hours at room temperature before cutting into 1″ squares. [I refrigerate the caramels to speed up the firming process.  Then I let the caramels stand at room temperature for a few minutes before cutting into squares.]
  5. To wrap the caramels, use 6″ squares of parchment paper. Place one caramel in the center of each square; wrap the opposite edges of the paper around the caramel and twist the exposed edges to close. [I prefer cellophane wrappers from Caramel Wrappers.]

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