I had planned to include some form of caramels as part of my holiday baking this past season, and when I saw this one posted on A Beautiful Mess I knew that this was the version I would try out this time round. I quadrupled the amounts below because I have a lot of people clamouring for my candies, but this recipe will give you about 20 or so caramels, depending on how you cut them. My four batches yielded about 102 whole pieces and a handful of broken ones or end bits.
As with most candy, it’s handy to have all your ingredients at the ready before you begin, because you often have to act fast. So gather together 3/4 cup granulated sugar (divided), 7 tablespoons heavy cream, 2 tablespoons honey, 3 tablespoons butter, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
You may also want to have some more salt or fleur de sel on hand for topping the caramels when they’re done. Now that your ingredients are ready, you should line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
Now, take half of the sugar (3/8 cup sugar) and plop it in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons water.
With the burner on medium, heat the sugar and water until they start to bubble and turn a deep amber brown.
Then remove the pot temporarily from the heat and add in the rest of the ingredients – they will fizz up on you. Return the pot to the heat and stir to melt and combine all the remaining ingredients.
Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pot and let the mix bubble away. Stir it occasionally so it doesn’t burn. You want the temperature to reach 260°F, which is the “hard ball” stage. It won’t take very long, so pay attention.
Pour the finished caramel into the prepared loaf pan and sprinkle the surface with salt. Let that cool for at least an hour, but probably not much longer than that.
Cut it into little pieces (it’s easier if you don’t let it sit much longer than an hour).
Then you can wrap the little pieces in twists of waxed paper and either hoard them to yourself or give them all away! Or both.