These caramels will change your life. They are fairly easy to make and are amazingly delicious. The ingredient list is minimal so you won’t end up with exotic items on your shelf that you’ll never use again.
- 4 cups apple cider (preferably the kind that needs refrigeration)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- Neutral oil (like canola) for the knife
- Boil the apple cider in a 2.5- to 4-quart saucepan over medium high heat until it is reduced to a dark syrup, roughly 1/3 cup in volume. Stir occasionally. This should take around 35-45 minutes. In my experience, I found a smaller pan (2.5-quart) to be easier to work with.
- While the apple cider is boiling, get the other ingredients ready. Measure out the cinnamon and work out any clumps so it is powdery. If your butter isn't room temperature, I'd recommend softening it a bit in the microwave. Combine the butter, sugars, and heavy cream in a bowl. Line an 8- or 9-inch straight-sided square metal baking pan with parchment paper (crisscross multiple sheets if needed to cover the bottom of the pan and at least an inch on each side).
- Once the apple cider is reduced, remove from heat and stir in the butter, sugars, and heavy cream. Return the pot to medium high heat. Attach a candy thermometer to the side and let it boil until the temperature reaches 252 degrees. This should only take about 5 minutes, so keep a close eye on it. Stir occasionally to ensure everything melts and is well mixed.
- Immediately remove from heat and stir in cinnamon. Pour into prepared pan and allow to cool (about 2-3 hours, although it doesn't hurt to wait longer).
- Once caramel is firm, oil knife and cut into 1 inch squares. If the caramel sticks to the knife too much, give the caramel more time to cool. Wrap in 4 inch squares of wax paper, twisting the ends to close.
- Caramels can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container, or in the refrigerator. Keeps for about two weeks.
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