I know that there is still well over a week until Christmas, but I feel like it’s hurling at me at high speeds. Like a holiday asteroid, and there is nothing I can do to slow it down or deflect its imminence. Maybe it’s because I leave THIS FRIDAY for Nevada, I haven’t done any of my gift shopping, and/or baking…let alone the laundry/packing that needs to happen.
Luckily, salted caramels–classy and impressive as they are–don’t take a lot of time to make. Sure there’s the sugar melting and caramelizing, adding the butter and cream, and the HOT/BOILING/SUGAR LAVA. It can be a little bit dramatic, true, but totally worth the effort. While they cool, you can rotate those loads of laundry and check a few things off your ever-expanding to-do lists.
Multi-tasking was made for procrastinators like me.
Salted Caramel Lollipops
adapted from David Leibovitz
I cooked these to the “hard-crack” temperature, so they would be hard-candy like. If you want to just make simple, caramel chews, heat it to 10degrees less…if not, you may find yourself missing a few fillings this holiday season.
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup, golden syrup, or honey
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon sea salt and/or smoked sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons butter, browned
Fit lollipop molds with sticks and set aside. You will either need to have multiple molds or plan on cutting some of the candies into small squares. If cutting into squares line a 9-inch loaf pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a small sauce pan melt butter and brown, until fragrant and golden. Set aside.
In a seperate pan, heat cream and 1/2 teaspoon salt and heat to a gentle simmer. Stir in vanilla. Turn off heat and set aside.
In a 4qt saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer, heat sugar, corny syrup, and water, taking care to stir only to moisten. Once the mixture has melted, try not to stir, and heat to 310F (155C). To achieve an acurate reading, make sure the thermometer bulb is fully submerged, tilting pan if necessary.
Add hot cream mixture to hot caramel and stir until smooth. Caramel will bubble and steam. Return to heat and cook over medium until the thermometer reads 260F(127C). If making chewy caramels, heat to 250F.
Stir in browned butter until smooth.
Spoon the hot caramel into molds or prepped pan. Sprinkle with additional salt and allow to cool completely before removing from molds or cutting. Wrap caramels in wax paper or parchment. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.