Winter DoldrumsFebruary 5, 2014
Winter is really getting me down this year. I’m not one to complain about the weather. I mean what’s the point? I can’t control it, so I usually roll with it. But not this year. This year the snow, and boy have we had it in spades, and the cold have gotten to me. I know this isn’t my favorite season, but still, I’m so over the polar vortex and all it entails.
To help me with deal with winter, I bought a cookbook. I don’t usually buy cookbooks, I find that there is only one or two recipes I use out each one. Then they just take up space in my cupboard. That’s not to say that I don’t have any cookbooks, just that I’ve scaled back quite a bit on them. But, I bought The New Midwestern Table by Amy Thielen. She’s awesome. There are quite a few gems in this book and I hope to work my way through a few during these cold months.
I made her caramel recipe, which is very similar to a recipe that I’ve made for years. I think the only difference is my original recipe had a time measurement for cooking the candy, which got me in trouble the first time I made it. I didn’t have a candy thermometer, so I made a lot of caramel sauce. Her recipe also helped me figure out how to cut the candy. I stopped making caramel for that reason alone.
So, obviously, you’ll need a candy thermometer to make these awesome treats. And you can add nuts. I sprinkled some crushed cashews to the top half of my last batch. I also added an additional sprinkle of salt to the top before it set. Yum!
- 2 C Heavy Cream
- 2 C Sugar
- 1 C Butter
- 2 C Light Corn Syrup
- Pinch of Sea Salt
- 2 t Vanilla
Line a quarter sheet baking pan with parchment paper.
In a heavy wide-bottomed stock pot combine 1 C cream, sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a simmer, then a boil. Once the mixture has boiled for a few minutes, add the remaining cream. Cook steadily over medium heat, to a steady low boil, stirring intermittently with a wooden spoon. Cook the caramel until 238 degrees , soft candy stage. You will know you are close when the mixture thickens and turns an amber color . Once it is 238 degrees, add the vanilla, stirring to combine and pour in prepared pan. Let the caramel cool at room temperature overnight.
Cut a large stack of waxed paper into 2 or 3 inch squares, and set aside.
When ready to slice, remove from pan and place face down on a cutting board to remove the paper. Use a serrated knife and cut the caramel into 1/2 or 1 inch pieces, place on the waxed paper pieces, roll and twist the ends.
These can last for months at room temperature.
Makes 100-150 pieces of candy.