Saturday, December 17, 2011

Spiced Cider Caramels

This is one of the three types of candy I made this Christmas to bring on our trip with us.  I wanted to have a little care package for each of my sisters and my parents to have in their hotel rooms.  I found this recipe on Pinterest via Blondie's Cakes.  She's got a great blog!  Be sure you have a large pot, because as the sugar boils it rises up quite a bit.  This is not something you want boiling over on your stove top!  You'll also need an acurate candy thermometer.

2 c. good quality apple cider
1 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
pinch nutmeg
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. light corn syrup
1/2 c. real butter, cubed

Pour the cider into a saucepan and boil 20 minutes until it's reduced to 1/3 cup.  This is where that concentrated apple flavor comes from.

Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment making sure to leave some paper hanging over the edges for easier removal.  Coat with oil.

In a small bowl, combine 2/3 c. of the cream, the reduced cider and your spices.

Pour the remaining cream into a cup measure and add enough water for it to reach the 1/2 c. line.

In a large pot, combine sugar, corn syrup and cream/water mixture over medium heat.  Stir until sugar dissolves and the temperature reaches 234 degrees (soft ball stage) on your candy thermometer.

Remove pot from heat and whisk in the cream/cider mixture.  Add in the butter and stir until fully incorporated.  Cook again until it reaches 248 degrees (firm ball stage).

Remove from the heat and pour into prepared pan.  Let cool completely.  Then remove from pan, cut into desired sized pieces and wrap individually in waxed paper. I  made mine about tootsie roll sized.  Blondie's Cakes makes hers into cut-your-own sized logs. 

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