December 17, 2012

Salted Caramels and a Giveaway

My holiday candy making has pretty much been limited to cashew toffee, a well loved favorite among my family and friends.   Ironically, for me not so much.  I guess after all these years of making it I've become immune to the crunchy, buttery candy and was actually on the lookout for new inspiration.  

Lucky for me the very kind folks at America's Test Kitchen sent over a copy of one of their latest publications, DIY Cookbook.   Score!  I'm one of those people who's all about giving homemade food gifts for the holidays.  What better way to show you care than with something from your own kitchen?  I immediately headed to the sweets chapter and gravitated towards the Salted Caramels.  

There's nothing I love more than a sweet/salty combination and these candies fit the bill perfectly.  As with all of ATK's recipes this one was easy to follow and the results were fantastic.  I think my friends and family will definitely welcome to new addition to my candy repertoire.

Now to the giveaway....

One lucky blog reader can win their own ATK DIY Cookbook.  (Special thanks to  ATK for sponsoring the giveaway!)

Here's how to enter:

Just leave a comment to this post, as well as your email address, by 12PM PST Thur Dec 20 11:59 PM PST Thur Dec 20.  IMPORTANT: You must leave an email address, otherwise  there's no way I can contact you!  (Only open to residents of the US...sorry!)

Good luck and happy cooking!!!

UPDATE: The winner of the DIY Cookbook is #22 -  I'll be contacting you directly with instructions on how to claim your prize.  Thanks to everyone who entered!!  

Salted Caramels (recipe from America's Test Kitchen DIY Cookbook)

1 vanilla bean
1 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces
1½ teaspoons fleur de sel or flake sea salt ( I especially like Maldon Flakes)
¼ cup light corn syrup
¼ cup water
1⅓ cups (9⅓ ounces) sugar

Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Using tip of paring knife, scrape out seeds. Combine vanilla bean seeds, cream, butter, and 1 teaspoon fleur de sel in small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil, cover, remove from heat, and let steep for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make parchment sling for 8-inch square baking pan by folding 2 long sheets of parchment paper so each is 8 inches wide. Lay sheets of parchment in greased pan perpendicular to each other, with extra parchment hanging over edges of pan. Push parchment into corners and up sides of pan, smoothing parchment flush to pan. Grease parchment; set aside.

Combine corn syrup and water in large saucepan. Pour sugar into center of pan (do not let sugar hit pan sides). Bring to boil over medium-high heat, and cook, without stirring, until sugar has dissolved completely and syrup has faint golden color and registers 300 degrees, 7 to 9 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook, gently swirling pan, until mixture is amber colored and registers 350 degrees, 2 to 3 minutes.

Off heat, carefully stir in cream mixture (mixture will foam up). Return mixture to medium-high heat, and cook, stirring frequently, until caramel reaches 248 degrees, about 5 minutes.

Carefully transfer caramel to prepared baking pan. Using greased rubber spatula, smooth surface of caramel, and let cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining ½ teaspoon fleur de sel and then let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Transfer to refrigerator and chill until caramel is completely solid and cold to touch, about 1 hour.

 Lift parchment sling out of baking pan and place on cutting board. Peel parchment away from caramel. Cut caramel into ¾-inch-wide strips and then crosswise into ¾-inch pieces. Individually wrap pieces in waxed-paper squares, twisting ends of paper to close. Caramels can be refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.


  1. that salted caramel looks delicious! absolutely delicious!!!

    amendelblatt at gmail dot com

  2. I tried a different salted caramel recipe before (Alton Brown's), but I think I'll make this one next.

    bill at campbellclan dot net

  3. Any idea how to adjust the recipe for high altitude? 6000-7000 feet?
    Thanks! asexton530 at gmail dot com

  4. Anonymous12/17/2012

    OMG!I have to make this for my wife!

  5. I <3 ATK

    criminy.crickets // gmail

  6. Maribeth12/17/2012

    Wow!! They are beautiful, Thank you for the recipe :) Your blog is amazing,love love love it!! (:

  7. Looks delicious,can't wait to make a batch

  8. These look delicious and will be on my 2013 to-do list!

  9. Rebecca P.12/18/2012

    I would love to know if there is a way to adjust this receipe to make it for my mom who is diabetic. While still keeping it tasty. Thanks. Becky.

  10. salted caramels look so delicious, i love that its such a popular new flavor

  11. Looks super delish! Want to try it sometime. readerrachael(at)gmail(dot)com.

  12. Anonymous12/18/2012

    These sound delicious - can't wait to try them!

  13. Anonymous12/18/2012

    I need to make these. I love ATK's recipes.

    pawell78 // gmail dot com

  14. i love america's test kitchen! and i love trying new recipes, too. :)


  16. the caramels look delicious windykitchen at gmail

  17. Anonymous12/18/2012

    Looks like something along my cooking skills. lucobry (at)

  18. Looks like another great book from ATK.

  19. Ava and I can't wait to taste the yummy treats!!!

  20. Anonymous12/18/2012

    These look so good!

  21. I want these now!!
    lisaandandre at yahoo dot com

  22. Anonymous12/18/2012

    Your photo make me want to try this recipe again. My first caramel attempt was too soft.

  23. I have so much trouble with caramels, but I might have to try making these!

  24. salted caramel... my favorite holiday treat! I can't wait to try your recipe!

  25. Anonymous12/19/2012

    Salty and sweet, what a great combo! Can't wait to try it! As always, your blog is awesome! One day, I'm going to find time to try some of your delicious recipes. Thanks for sharing, Truc-san!
    Oh, hope I win!


  26. I made these last night with a friend. I haven't tasted since they cooled, but the gooey warm stuff that came off the spatula and the pan was incredible -- layers of vanilla, and saltiness, with a bit of crunch. Lovely.

    Some questions:
    1)We removed the milk from the heat and let steep for more than 10 minutes--how much should this cool down? It remained quite hot.
    2) With the sugar mixture - "amber colored" -- dark amber, light amber? doesn't matter? We ended up adding 2 more minutes.

    That is it--the caramels look amazing and I can't wait to have one this afternoon. We took pictures--I'll tweet you one!



  27. Anonymous12/19/2012

    Mmmmm... sweet and salty! If I can't get my hands on these, I guess I'll have to make them myself!


  28. Anonymous12/19/2012

    Love salty and sweet!

  29. Anonymous12/20/2012

    Made them, love them, super gooey though. Dying for the DIY CB from ATK!
    lisa at roundtable dot com

  30. Anonymous12/20/2012

    I have an ever growing collection of cookbooks and would love to add this one to it!

  31. Anonymous12/20/2012

    Seems like everyone I know is crazy about salted caramels - can't wait to try this recipe out on them!


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