Deep breath - I'm about to share one of my MOST FAVORITE recipes EVER! It's very addicting and I don't mean that lightly. Once made, this barely lasts a full day around here. It's just something about the sea salt, sugar, and cream.
A little background -
So there I was...in Whole Foods...staring at all of the caramels in the sweets display case. It happened to be my birthday so I bought a few chocolate covered sea salt caramels. They didn't make it to the car. It's a long way home from Whole Foods - I kept wanting more caramels to magically appear in my empty bag. So, I thought there HAS to be a way to make caramels at home. After some research (and some recipes that just don't cut it), I found this to be the
BEST EVER CARAMEL RECIPE!
Fleur de Sel Caramels
1 C heavy cream
5 T unsalted butter
1 tsp coarse sea salt (plus 1 T for the final step)
1 1/2 C sugar
1/4 C light corn syrup
1/4 C water
Line 9x13" baking pan with parchment paper (you could also use an 8x8" pan - I like my caramels on the thin side so I use a larger pan.), then lightly oil parchment. Bring cream, butter, and salt to a boil in a small saucepan, then remove from heat and set aside.
In the next few pictures, you'll see how the color changes from an off-white to a golden brown.
and simmer, stirring frequently, until caramel registers 248 F on thermometer
(about 10-15 minutes).
This is where I add my own touch.
Just before the caramel is set,
Chill caramels for another 90 minutes and enjoy!
2015 Update: I've probably made these caramels at least 100x now. They've become a family favorite - especially at Christmas time. After making them so.many.times., I've found an awesome tool for making the caramel making process even smoother. Better than lining my pan with parchment is Reynold's Pan Lining Paper. It's parchment on one side and foil on the other side so it molds to the pan and stays put while pouring hot caramel. It's a fantastic invention! Here's a picture of what I use.