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  • Jan Perry

    homemade Caramel tut, mmm... use as a sauce or cut candy.

  • Debby Spence

    How to Make Caramel Safety first: Caramel is very hot and bubbles up, so use a 2-3 quart pot, wear long mitts and stir with a heatproof spatula. Have a candy thermometer on hand, too, which lessens the likelihood of burning. Once you’re geared up: Stir. Combine 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a large pot* over low heat and stir constantly until dissolved. Test for smoothness by rubbing a drop between your fingers (it’s still fairly cool at this point). If it’s grainy, continue stirring. *Tip: Heavy-duty cookware ensures even cooking; we recommend a coated cast-iron pot. Just keep in mind that the lighter the surface, the easier it is to see changes in color. Boil. Once the syrup is smooth, increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Cook until it begins to brown, about 5-15 minutes. When it starts to change color, watch closely and cook until golden amber in color (340°F). Remove from heat. Tip: If sugar crystals are stuck to the sides, brush them into the syrup with a wet pastry brush. And for even color, occasionally swirl—but don’t stir—the pot. Use. Let the caramel cool slightly, then use as desired. For example, pour over crème brulee custards instead of torching them, or read on for 3 variations. Tip: To make caramel sauce to top sundaes, flavor caramel apple roll-ups, sweeten mulled cider and more, add 6 tablespoons unsalted butter to the caramel right as it reaches an amber color, stirring until melted. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in 1/2 cup heavy cream. Let cool, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. 3 Yummy Uses for Caramel Caramel’s the perfect foundation for: Fleur de Sel Caramels Sweet and salty, these candies are one of life’s little pleasures. Adapt the basic caramel recipe above to make chewy, pull-apart caramels or firm, old-fashioned ones that melt in your mouth: Chewy Fleur de Sel Caramels Line an 8x8” baking dish with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 cup heavy cream and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Bring to a slight simmer, then remove from heat and cover to keep warm. Follow Step 1 above, adding 1 cup light corn syrup. Boil to 250°F, remove from heat and stir in the cream and milk mixture, plus 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces. Return to heat and cook to a dark golden brown (244°F). Pour immediately into prepared dish. After 10 minutes, sprinkle with Fleur de Sel salt to taste. Let cool, then lift out the parchment paper and slide the sheet of caramel onto a cutting board. Spray a chef’s knife with cooking spray, then cut caramel into squares or strips. Wrap in parchment paper and enjoy within 1 month. Old-Fashioned Fleur de Sel Caramels Line an 8x8” baking dish with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 3/4 cup heavy cream, 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and cover to keep warm. Follow Step 1 above, adding 1/2 cup light corn syrup. Boil to 310°F, remove from heat and stir in the butter and cream mixture. Return to heat and cook to a golden amber color (260°F). Remove from heat and stir in 2 more tablespoons unsalted butter until melted. Pour immediately into prepared dish. Salt and cut as you would the Chewy Caramels above. Caramel Corn A great party or movie night nibble, and you can control the serving size by portioning it into paper cones: Pop 1 bag (3 1/2 ounces) of unsalted popcorn (yields about 3 1/2 cups). Toss with add-ins like chopped nuts, bacon or pretzels, if desired. Follow Step 1 above, adding 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and 1/2 tablespoon salt. Boil until light golden yellow, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in 1 teaspoon baking soda—be careful, as it will foam up. Tip: For added flavor, whisk 1/8 teaspoon of spice, like cinnamon or cayenne, into the baking soda. Immediately pour over popcorn and toss with a greased spatula, then spread onto an oiled baking sheet and use the spatula to separate into pieces. Cool to room temperature before transferring to an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Caramel Apples An autumn favorite that’s easy to make with our 5-step recipe. Use the same technique to dip other foods, too, from pears to potato chips.

  • Jenna Olson

    Dessert table. Cook up caramels!

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