Super Fancy Salted Bourbon Caramels

Christmas may be over, but Candyfest 2011 continues!

So I have a recipe for Sea Salt Caramels that I find to be very reliable.  In fact, I make it every couple of weeks at Livin’ The Pie Life for my Apple Caramel Crumb Pie. However, Paula and I wanted to take our candy to the next level this year, so for Candyfest 2011 we sought out something a little more fancy schmancy.

We settled on Bourbon Salted Chocolate Caramels over at Sophisticated Pie.  The recipe was very similar to the caramels that I know work so reliably, but they were a little something extra, so we decided to give them a try.

Super Fancy Salted Bourbon Caramels
Adapted from a recipe by Sophisticated Pie

for caramels:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 Tbsp whiskey
  • 1/2 to 1 cup toasted pecans, optional (but fabulous)

For decorating chocolate:

  • 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp canola oil

Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square baking dish with aluminum foil and lightly oil the paper.

Combine all caramel ingredients except whiskey and nuts in a medium pot and heat on medium-high until it begins to boil, stirring frequently. Once boiling, insert a candy thermometer into mixture, turn heat down to medium and cook until mixture reaches 245 degrees F, gently swirling but not stirring occasionally. Monitor temperature closely at the end, so mixture does not reach 250 degrees F.

Remove pot from heat, and gently stir in whiskey. Pour into prepared dish.

NOTE: The caramel seemed too thin to me at first, but later I grew to appreciate the thickness, especially once the nuts and chocolate came into play.

If using, sprinkle pecans on top while caramel is still warm. Let cool a couple of hours or until set. Cut caramels into bite size pieces. Now this is where you can get creative.  If you like, you an drizzle with chocolate or dip in chocolate or sprinkle with salt.

If you do use chocolate, melt it in a bowl set over simmering water. Stir occasionally until completely melted. Stir in canola oil.

Once all the chocolate is applied, top with any extra nuts, salt, or other topping, then place in refrigerator about 30 minutes to let chocolate set.

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