I have a growing number of bookmarked recipes for candy and sweets that sound delicious, but I have yet to recreate them in my own kitchen. The holidays are a great time to make fancy treats and when you package them up nicely, they make great gifts for colleagues and party hosts. I’m pretty excited about these sea salt caramels and am looking forward to making them again for the holiday season. No doubt those around me are looking forward to me making them again, too.. they were a grand success with friends who sampled them!
I read through quite a few recipes for sea salt caramels and finally settled on one, with my own variations. For salt, I had very fancy Maldon sea salt on hand (bought at Williams Sonoma) and used that. While not absolutely necessary, I do think that a coarse sea salt is important both visually and for the salty bursts of flavour in the sweet caramel. I also used vanilla extract (homemade – another great gift!) and swirled one teaspoon in at the very end once I took the caramel off of the heat.
The ingredients are simple and minimal kitchenware was required. The recipe doesn’t call for a specific kind of sugar, but I used half white sugar and half brown sugar. Once all of the ingredients were thrown in the pot, I stirred constantly so not to burn the caramel at all. The recipe doesn’t specify a temperature, but you should stir and slowly increase the heat until the caramel reaches 250F. This took me about 45 patient minutes. I used a meat thermometer rather than a candy thermometer, which did its job perfectly!
I let the caramel cool on a baking sheet for about an hour and then cut it up using a sharp pizza cutter. Then came the fun part: using parchment paper to wrap the caramels individually. And voilà!