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Homemade Holiday: Salted Caramels

Years ago I made a batch of salted caramels to wrap and give as holiday gifts – now every year we get requests for them. Easy and inexpensive to make, chewy salted caramels look great in a vintage or dollar store jar, individually wrapped in pieces of waxed or parchment paper. Once you get the hang of making caramel from scratch, try experimenting with different flavors – add peppermint extract instead of vanilla, add a pinch of finely grated orange zest or instant espresso. Because everyone loves caramels, I like putting out a dish of them, layered with a square of parchment paper to keep them from sticking together, at our annual Christmas party as well.


Once the caramel has set, you can turn it out onto a cutting board and cut them into rectangles or squares.

Salted Caramels

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup corn syrup or Lyle’s Golden Syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt

Butter an 8×8″ pan. Combine all ingredients except the vanilla in heavy saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil (15 to 20 minutes).

Continue cooking, until a candy thermometer reaches 244°F or small amount of mixture dropped into ice water forms a firm ball (about 25 to 30 minutes). Stir in the vanilla and pour into the buttered pan; chill until set.

Find more of Julie’s recipes and ideas at her blog, Dinner with Julie. You can also join her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, or find more of her posts on Babble.

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