It must be recipe week here at The Busy Bean.
My caramel recipe is something of an accident. I have always been very happy with the recipe straight from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. Most often, I make the quick version using sweetened condensed milk, since it takes a lot less time than the version with cream and I have two toddlers that don’t like me to stand at the stove for an hour straight. One day, I wanted caramels. So I grabbed everything and started boiling and stirring. I love the look of boiling caramel, how about you?
Well, after boiling for about 20 minutes, it hit the right temperature, and just then I remembered that my neighbor had borrowed my vanilla. I couldn’t wait to get it back from her, so I improvised. I grabbed my almond extract from the spice drawer and I’ve never looked back.
Sprinkle a little coarse salt on top once the caramel is in the pan, and you’ve got caramel heaven.
Here’s the recipe
Salted Almond Caramels
recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
1 cup butter
1 16-ounce package (2 1/4 cups) packed brown sugar
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
(or 2 cups half-and-half or light cream)
1 cup light colored corn syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1. Line a 9x9x2-inch pan with parchment paper, make sure to line up the sides. Set aside.
2. In a 3-quart heavy saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk and corn syrup; mix well. Turn heat to medium-high and cook until mixture boils. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and reduce heat to medium. Continue boiling at a moderate, steady rate, stirring frequently, until thermometer registers 244 degrees F (just under firm-ball stage), about 20-25 minutes (or 50 if using cream).
3. Remove pan from heat and stir in almond extract. Pour immediately into prepared pan. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Let the pan sit until caramels are firm, about 3 hours. Turn out from pan onto a cutting board and cut into 1″ squares with a sharp knife. Wrap in waxed paper. Enjoy!
makes about 10 dozen caramels (perfect for wrapping in little bags and giving to neighbors so you don’t eat all of them yourself)