Chocolate Caramels

These Chocolate Caramels are proof that the best recipes don’t need to come from a fancy cookbook or famous chef.  This recipe for Chocolate Caramels was included when I ordered candy wrappers.  The ingredients are basic, and the instructions are simple, yet the caramels are utterly sublime.  They taste a lot like See’s Candies chocolate lollipops but with a chewy caramel texture.  I made a few slight modifications like adding a little bit of cinnamon and a finishing salt.  Adding 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon provides a hint of cinnamon without overpowering the chocolate.
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Chocolate Caramels

Makes a 9×9 inch pan of caramels.  The number of caramels will depend on the size that you cut them.
(from Caramel Wrappers.com)

Ingredients

3 cups sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
2/3 cup cocoa (I prefer natural high fat cocoa powder)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Finishing salt to sprinkle on top (optional, Maldon Sea Salt Flakes is always one of my favorites)

Directions

  1. Butter a 9×9 inch pan or line it with parchment paper.  I prefer using parchment paper as it makes it easy to remove the caramels from the pan.
  2. Mix the sugar, light corn syrup, cocoa, butter, and whipping cream in a heavy, large saucepan.
  3. Boil, stirring constantly until a candy thermometer reaches 248°F.  If you want slightly softer caramels, cook the caramels to 246°F.  Don’t boil the mixture too vigorously, otherwise the caramel will burn.  Also stir the mixture constantly and don’t take your eye off of it to keep it from developing hot spots and burning.  It will take a while (15 minutes or more) for the caramel to reach the right temperature so just keep stirring.  Your patience will be rewarded.
  4. Take a caramel off the heat, and quickly, but carefully whisk in the vanilla and cinnamon (be careful as the vanilla may cause the caramel to bubble up a bit).
  5. Pour the caramel into the prepared pan.
  6. Sprinkle sea salt on top of the caramels.
  7. When cool, cut into small squares with a buttered knife or pizza cutter and wrap in waxed caramel/taffy wrap or waxed paper. I really like the convenience and look of cellophane candy wrappers.

Note:  The caramels will keep for two weeks in an airtight container at room temperature and longer if refrigerated.  Bring them to room temperature before eating.

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