Fall is by far our favorite time of year; the weather is perfect, the colors are gorgeous, and the seasonal fruits and vegetables are all awesome. The weather was so nice a few weekends ago, I threw Aida and my camera in the car, and drove around taking pictures of all the fall foliage. Sadly, now there’s only a few lonely leave clinging to the trees.
Apple cider and caramel are two of our favorite fall flavors, so combining them into one delicious little candy – genius.
These turned out great – I promise it will be hard to eat just one, and if you can manage to save some they would make a really cute hostess gift for Thanksgiving.
Apple Cider CaramelsAdapted slightly, from Smitten Kitchen / Smitten Kitchen Cookbook 4 cups (945 ml) apple cider 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 2 teaspoons flaky sea salt (like Maldon) 8 tablespoons (1 stick or 115 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar 1/2 cup (110 grams) packed light brown sugar 1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy cream Neutral oil for knife
Boil the apple cider in a 3- to- 4-quart saucepan over high heat until it is reduced to a dark, thick syrup, between 1/3 and 1/2 cup in volume (about 35 to 40 minutes); stirring occasionally.
While the cider boils down, prepare your other ingredients, because there will be no time to spare once the candy is cooking. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch straight-sided, square metal baking pan with 2 long sheets of parchment (crisscrossed); set it aside. Stir the cinnamon and flaky salt together in a small dish; set aside.
Once the apple cider has reduced in volume, remove it from the heat and stir in the butter, sugars, and heavy cream. Return the pot to medium-high heat with a candy thermometer attached to the side, and let it boil until the thermometer reads 252 degrees, only about 5 minutes. Watch closely so the caramel doesn’t overcook.
Immediately remove caramel from heat, add the cinnamon salt mixture, giving the caramel several stirs to distribute it evenly. Quickly pour caramel into the prepared pan. Let it sit until cool and firm (about 2 hours); if you’re in a rush, you can also pop it into the fridge for a bit. Once caramel is firm, use parchment to transfer the block to a cutting board. Use a well- oiled knife, oiling it after each cut, to cut the caramel into 1-inch squares. Wrap each caramel in a 4-inch square of waxed paper, twisting the sides to close. Caramels will be somewhat on the soft side at room temperature, and chewy/firm from the fridge.
Caramels keep in an airtight container at room temperature for two weeks.