Merry Christmas Eve, everybody! If you’re of the Christmas-persuasion (or even if you’re not), I hope you’re having a wonderful day and something fun planned for tomorrow!
In case you’ve been slacking and need a last minute gift idea, I’ve come to your rescue. Ha! Caramels are a GREAT thing to bring as a gift — and even better if they’re homemade!
When I saw Tracy post these a few weeks ago I KNEW I needed to make some. I love LOVE caramel. Especially salted caramel. And a little bourbon taste in there? I think we have a winner! One new candy-thermometer later, and we were in business.
I added a splash of vanilla, in addition to the bourbon, just for funsies. And I didn’t have huge salt flakes on hand, so I used the biggest I had! Either way: they are DELICIOUS! I grabbed a handful to stick in my purse when we flew to St. Louis on Saturday, and found myself furiously searching my bag for more once we were stuck in Chicago while EVERY RESTAURANT WAS CLOSED. All I wanted was something to eat! But that’s another story.
Make these caramels, wrap ‘em up all pretty-like, and give them to someone you like! Or someone you don’t like! Everybody loves them!
- nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 2 cups sugar
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 2 Tbsp bourbon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- flaky sea salt
- Lightly spray an 8″x8″ pan with vegetable oil, then line with parchment both ways, and spray the parchment. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar, water, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil, gently stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Once the mixture reaches a boil, let it cook relatively undisturbed (swirl occasionally) until it is a deep amber-brown. This takes about 10 minutes, give or take a few.
- Remove from the heat and add the sweetened condensed milk and butter. It will bubble furiously, so whisk and be careful! Whisk until it is completely smooth again, then return to medium-low heat.
- Cook, whisking continuously, until the candy thermometer registers 240 F. Remove from heat and whisk in bourbon, vanilla, and ½ tsp salt. Whisk until smooth, then pour into your prepared pan.
- Liberally sprinkle sea salt over the top, and let cool before cutting and wrapping in wax paper.