I love caramel candies. I always had them as a kid and I loved how sticky they were, even though they were probably super bad for my teeth. I would always find it a fun game to see how fast I could unstick it from the roof of my mouth or my back molars. I’m sure you’re thinking, “wow Julie was a weird kid.” Haha, but I really liked the Werther’s soft caramel that they came out with several years ago. I think that’s my favorite caramel candy, until, of course, I made my own!
I made these apple cider caramels because it was one of my bucket list items to conquer in the kitchen. I really wanted to learn how to make some sort of candy in the kitchen and I knew caramels were a pretty easy way to start but something about boiling sugar just freaked me out and I refused to do it. I just always got this vision in my head that it’d splatter all over my arm and I’d get horrendous burns. Dramatic, much?
I finally decided to conquer that sugar fear and just do it! Turns out, there’s nothing really scary about it and it’s actually super easy and low maintenance. Although, I will say, that if you ever want a really good arm workout, cut some caramels. That was the hardest part of all this. Cutting this the next morning. I Google’d it and a lot of tips came up with guitar string. I don’t have guitar strings just lying around the house so I just decided to use the sharp warm knife approach. It worked well but man, after cutting about 64 caramels, my arm and hands were sore!
Apple cider caramels literally just scream Fall. I mean, I just picture orange and red leaves, a large apple orchard, and crisp, beautiful weather! They’re so soft and chewy too that you can’t have just one :)
Apple Cider Caramels
Yield: Approx. 64 caramels | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes plus cool time | Source: King Arthur Flour
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup light corn syrup
2 cups sugar
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup boiled cider
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. apple pie spice
- Lightly grease an 8×8″ baking pan and line with parchment paper with overhangs on opposite sides. Set aside.
- In a large, nonstick pot, combine cream, corn syrup, sugar, butter, and boiled cider. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce to medium-high heat and cook without stirring until the candy thermometer reaches 248 degrees Fahrenheit. It will take about 20-30 minutes depending on your stove and pot.
- Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the salt and apple pie spice.
- Carefully pour the mixture into the prepared pan and let it stand for 12-18 hours at room temperature before cutting into 1″ squares.
- When cutting the caramels, run a very sharp knife under hot water until it’s warm to the touch then spray both sides with cooking spray and cut caramels in a sawing motion.
- Wrap caramels in wax paper.