Vanilla Bean Caramels
So, I am sure you all know by now that I have a crazy sweet tooth. I can hardly resist anything sweet. Caramel is a personal weakness of mine. My favorite sauce for ice cream as a kid was always caramel. So, I knew that as soon as I saw the recipe for these caramels, I needed to make them immediately.
They did not disappoint. I actually made these as part of my christmas gifts to my family. I saved a few back for myself and immediately wished I didn't have to share any at all. They are creamy, chewy and amazing. Don't make the mistake I did and skip individually wrapping them. I had run out of time and didn't feel like dealing with cutting little pieces of wax paper out to wrap them with. I paid for my laziness. They ended up getting soft (they were out of the refrigerator), then sort of melting together. They still tasted amazing, but it was kind of a gooey mess. So, make sure you don't miss that step! Make these today and you won't be disappointed.
Vanilla Bean Caramels
Yield: About 64 caramels
1 cup heavy cream
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean pod, split lengthwise and scraped
1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper. Lightly butter the parchment.In a small saucepan or a heatproof measuring cup, combine the cream, butter, vanilla extract, vanilla bean seeds, and fleur de sel. Heat over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. (Alternatively, microwave until the butter is melted and the cream has come to a boil.) Remove from the heat and set aside.In a medium saucepan with a candy thermometer clipped to the side, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Boil, without stirring but gently swirling the pan occasionally, until the mixture is a light golden caramel color.
Once the sugar has reached the desired amber color, carefully stir the warm cream mixture into the caramel in a steady drizzle down the inside of the pan – the mixture will bubble up, so pour slowly and stir constantly.
Continue simmering the mixture until it registers exactly 248˚ F on a candy thermometer.
Immediately remove from the heat and pour into the prepared pan. Let sit until completely set and cooled. Cut into 1-inch pieces (a buttered pizza cutter works well). Wrap the individual caramels in small pieces of wax or parchment paper, about 4-inch squares.