I'm finding myself a bit more adventurous in the kitchen lately. Usually something like a candy thermometer and bubbling corn syrup would scare this mama off but once I got into making these caramels, they wound up being super easy. The bourbon is a very subtle flavor but if bourbon's not your thing, you could swap it out for vanilla.
I think they'd be a terrific holiday gift for all those miscellaneous people in your life. People deserving of a wonderful little treat but you're not sure what to get them. Teachers, mailmen, neighbors you don't know very well. One batch makes about one hundred.
Just cook them, cool them, cut them, and wrap them up in pieces of parchment paper and you've got at least five simple gifts. Throw them in a cute bag, a small mason jar, tie some ribbon or baker's twine around them and call it a day.
BOURBON SEA SALT CARAMELS
from Bon Appetit
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- 1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
A candy thermometer
Lightly coat an 8x8” baking pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2” overhang on 2 sides; spray parchment.
Bring sugar, corn syrup, and ¼ cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until mixture turns a deep amber color, 8–10 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and whisk in sweetened condensed milk and butter (mixture will bubble vigorously) until smooth. Fit pan with thermometer and return to medium-low heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until thermometer registers 240°. Remove from heat and whisk in bourbon and kosher salt. Pour into prepared pan; let cool. Sprinkle caramel with sea salt, cut into ¾” pieces, and wrap individually in parchment paper.