Homemade Old-Fashioned Caramels
When the calendar flips into December, it never fails, I start thinking about all the sweet treats and Christmas cookies that can be made for the holiday season. For a number of years now, my church has been doing a cookie and candy exchange. I usually try to bring something new each year for the fundraiser, and these Homemade Old-Fashioned Caramels may be making an appearance at the event next weekend.
Now I’ll be the first to admit, homemade caramels can be a little intimidating to make.
The key is investing in a candy thermometer.
That way you know exactly when the caramels reach the firm-ball candy stage that insures them to be the perfect soft, yet chewy consistency.
What also makes these caramels so dang delicious is that in addition to the butter, sugar, corn syrup, and cream these sweet treats are flavored with two other special ingredients.
Whiskey (or bourbon).
And orange zest.
The hardest part of the whole candy making process is taking the time to wrap each individual caramel.
I usually keep it simple and cut large square pieces of wax paper.
Feel free to buy pre-cut, festive wrappers to fit the holiday season.
Once wrapped, store in an air-tight container at room-temperature.
Or gift them to family and friends from now until Christmas.
Just be sure to keep a few for yourself too.
You know. Quality control.
Homemade Old-Fashioned Caramels
The best recipe for Homemade Old-Fashioned Caramels for an easy Christmas gift. Soft and chewy, orange and bourbon flavored caramels.
- 2 cups Sugar
- 1 cup Plus 1 TBSP Heavy Cream, divided
- 1 cup Light Corn Syrup
- 3/4 cup Butter
- 1 Tbsp Whiskey or Bourbon (I used a salted-caramel flavored whiskey)
- 2 1/2 tsp Vanilla
- 2 tsp Orange Zest
In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, 1 cup of cream, corn syrup, and butter. Melt together and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stirring gently.
Once butter is melted and sugar dissolved, clip a candy thermometer to side of saucepan. Reduce heat to medium (mixture should boil at a moderate, steady rate across the surface). Cook, without stirring, 35-40 minutes (sometimes up to an hour) or until the mixture reaches 248℉ (firm ball stage). Remove from heat.
While the caramel cooks, prepare a square 9×9 inch baking pan, by lining it with parchment paper, extending the paper over the edges of the pan.
Also while the caramel cooks, mix together the remaining 1 Tbsp of cream, with whiskey, vanilla, and orange zest.
When caramel reaches firm ball stage, remove from heat and add in the whiskey and orange mixture. Be careful not to scrape down the sides of the pan.
Pour mixture into prepared baking pan. Again do not scrape down sides of pan.
Let caramels stand at room temperature for 1-2 hours or until cool and mixture is firm.
Use parchment to transfer uncut candy to a cutting board. Cut the caramels into about 72 pieces. I find that kitchen scissors work well for this.
Take each caramel piece and wrap into waxed paper piece, twisting the ends to seal.
Store caramels in a ziploc bag or airtight container at room temperature.
Did you make this recipe?
Tag me on Instagram using @MyFarmhouseTable or #MyFarmhouseTable