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14 Homemade Caramels – The “Perfect” Holiday Gift!

If there’s a more perfect holiday food gift than caramels, I don’t know what it is.

In less than an hour — and with no fancy ingredients or equipment (except for a candy thermometer)—you can churn out anywhere from 75 to 100 lush, creamy, mouthwatering candies. Individually wrapped and packed in a cute tin or cellophane bag, caramels are the perfect gift for friends, teachers, coaches – anybody!

I’ve rounded up a recipe that is sure to please everyone on your list  - from the sweet and simple vanilla-lover, to the fan of bold and spicy flavors. Detailed instructions are included in each so you’re sure to achieve success every time!

  • Homemade Caramels! 1 of 15
    homemade caramels

    Sweet, salty, buttery, chewy - that's right, I'm talking caramels! Flavored with everything from apples to bourbon, there is sure to be a recipe here to please every sweet tooth on your list!

  • Apple Cheesecake Caramels 2 of 15
    what smells so good apple cheesecake caramels

    These unusual caramels sit atop a graham cracker base and are infused with sweetened ricotta cheese and bits of dried apples.  

    Image and recipe courtesy of What Smells So Good?

     

  • Eggnog Caramels 3 of 15
    wonky wonderful eggnog caramels

    Eggnog flavored caramels? A more perfect holiday pairing I can't envision. Nor a more perfect gift to give!

    Image and recipe courtesy of Wonky Wonderful

     

     

  • Apple Cider Vinegar Caramels 4 of 15
    wonky wonderful apple cider vinegar caramels

    Apple cider vinegar doesn't flavor these caramels as much as it cuts through all that sweetness. Cinnamon adds a seasonal touch and a bit of heat, too.

    Image and recipe courtesy of Wonky Wonderful

     

     

     

  • Vanilla Caramels 5 of 15
    my catholic kitchen vanilla caramels

    Just a few simple ingredients - and a touch of vanilla - result in these melt-in-your-mouth caramels.

    Image and recipe courtesy of My Catholic Kitchen

     

     

     

  • Toasted Almond Chocolate Caramels 6 of 15
    babble toasted-almond-chocolate-caramels-434x607

    Bits of toasted almonds and bittersweet chocolate lend a decadent twist to traditional caramels - they look divine, don't they?

    Get the recipe at Babble

     

     

     

  • Sea Salt Caramels 7 of 15
    donuts dresses and dirt sea salt caramels

    Got a salty-sweet tooth on your list? She will LOVE the flakes of sea salt atop these creamy caramels. The salt is a mellow, yet welcome, contrast to all that sweetness, and gives a barely perceptible crunch too.

    Get the recipe at Donuts, Dresses and Dirt

     

     

  • "Nutty" Caramels 8 of 15
    spoonful nutty caramels

    Dress up homemade or storebought caramels with a coating of melted chocolate, followed by a roll in your choice of finely chopped nuts!

    Get the recipe at Spoonful

     

     

     

  • Spiced Pear Caramels 9 of 15
    sytle sweet ca spiced pear caramels

    Pear nectar and a dash of cinnamon pair up in these unusual caramels — perfect for holiday gift giving!

    Image and recipe courtesy of Style Sweet Ca

     

     

     

  • Smoky Olive Oil Caramels 10 of 15
    the pig and quill smoked olive oil caramels

    Sweet, smoky, salty — these sophisticated caramels are all grown up. These would make for a lovely and unexpected dinner party dessert!

    Image and recipe courtesy of The Pig and Quill

     

     

     

  • Spicy Chocolate Caramels 11 of 15
    the pig and quill spicy chocolate caramels

    Filled with a generous dose of cinnamon and paprika, these chocolate caramels are NOT for the faint of heart.  

    Image and recipe courtesy of The Pig and Quill

     

  • Vegan Caramels 12 of 15
    desserts with benefits homemade caramels

    I know that the vegan living under my roof will be thrilled to have her beloved caramels once again! Even better? These are made with agave and sucanat, as opposed to white sugar - so they are guilt-free too!

    Image and recipe courtesy of Desserts With Benefits

     

  • Bourbon Sea Salt Caramels 13 of 15
    babble bourbon sea salt caramels

    A splash of bourbon lends a warm and smoky note (but no alcohol, as it burns off when cooked) to these irresistible caramels!

    Get the recipe at Babble

  • Salty Vanilla Bean Caramels 14 of 15
    the spiced life salty vanilla bean caramel chews

    The seeds from three — yes, three! — vanilla beans lend a strong vanilla flavor to these sweet-salty caramels. This vanilla-lover approves.

    Image and recipe courtesy of The Spiced Life

     

  • Honey Butter Caramels 15 of 15
    always order dessert honey butter caramels

    Buttery, salty, creamy — these caramels are blended with honey for a taste and texture that is out of this world!

    Image and recipe courtesy of Always Order Dessert

     

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