Most people (the cool ones anyway) love anything with a salty sweet punch. And salted caramel candies are one of my all times favs. I just can’t get enough of that rich buttery flavor combined with the sweet and salty contrast. Luckily these candies make a great gift, because if left at home on a Friday night with them all to yourself, it probably won’t end well (I speak from experience).
Don’t be intimidated by working with sugar, it’s not nearly as hard as you might think. That being said, it is one of the more dangerous things you can do in the kitchen. But as long as you proceed with caution and pay attention to what you’re doing, you’ll be just fine.
Check out my latest video to see how I make these salty sweet beauties, and then whip up a batch tonight! You won’t regret it. Unless you eat them all in one sitting. Then you might.
- 1 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 heaping teaspoon salt
- 1 8x8 dish lined with parchment paper
- Flaky sea salt like Maldon or Fleur de Sel
- cooking spray
- wax paper
- In a medium to large saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water. Use a small spoon to stir until everything is combined, and then ditch the spoon. You don't want to stir any more or else it will cause the sugar to crystalize. If using a candy thermometer, which is recommended, clip it to the side of the pot and be sure it's completely immersed in the sugar mixture.
- Bring the sugar syrup to a boil over medium-high heat until it starts to turn golden in color. Don't take your eyes off of it. If it appears to be browning unevenly, give it a gentle swirl to help it caramelize evenly.
- When it turns a deep golden brown (around 300 degrees or so), lower the heat and then whisk in the butter and the cream. It will bubble up like crazy, so be very careful and be sure you're using a large enough pot so it doesn't spill over the sides.
- Once everything is combined, stop whisking and turn the heat back up to medium-high. Continue cooking until it becomes a few shades darker and reaches about 250 degrees (hard ball stage) on the thermometer. Remove from the heat.
- Pour the molten caramel into an 8x8 pan that's been lined with parchment paper and coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with a few generous pinches of flaky sea salt.
- Whack the pan against the counter a few times to release any trapped air bubbles. Cool the caramel completely for several hours, or overnight. This process can be sped up by placing the pan into the refrigerator or freezer.
- While the caramels are setting, cut several pieces of wax paper into small rectangles and set aside. When the caramels are set, remove them from the pan, peel off the parchment, and then cut into long strips. If the caramels stick to your knife, spray it with cooking spray before proceeding. Sprinkle the strips with more salt if desired, then cut into small pieces (I like 2-bite size, but cut them however you fancy).
- Wrap the individual caramels in pieces of wax paper, twisting the ends to seal. Store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks, or freeze in an air tight ziplock bag for longer storage.
- While a candy thermometer is not necessary for making great caramels, it is highly recommended to achieve consistent results. A regular instant read thermometer does not reach temperatures high enough to work for this application.