Okay so you guys may or may not have noticed that I have a thing for themes. Well, that said, I thought this year it would be fun to do a different theme for each week in December. This week I’m posting edible gift ideas that will hopefully inspire your giving spirit for the season and get your wheels spinning. That’s one of my favorite parts of blogging, the thought of being able to share creativity with you guys and hope it sparks your inspiration!
Okay, I’ve gotta know, it’s the week after Thanksgiving and the last day before we start the 25 day till Christmas countdown, who’s got their trees up?
We put ours up over a week ago now and I’m still having so much fun just staring at it everytime I’m around it. It’s the BEST time of year!!!! We always make a big deal out of decorating day cause it’s like the start of our Christmas-ing and from then on it’s a non-stop stream of christmas songs, Christmas movies, and (of course) Christmas foods until January.
I don’t know if it’s just us, but every year we seem to have strands of Christmas lights that decided to die and missing ornaments that we all search the house to find. This year we couldn’t find our angel tree topper for a while. We looked everywhere but then realized that we’d put it in a box that, from the outside, seemed too small for it so no one had checked inside. I’m so happy we found it cause the tree wouldn’t be the same without it’s topper.
I’m not as bad as I used to be about decorating every square inch of the house but I still get really into it. The last few years I’ve focused more of my holiday energies on baking and cooking more than decorating. Hence the weeks of Christmas themed recipes this month.
This recipe is for the salted caramels that I made for last week’s crack snacks. Up until then I had somehow never tried making soft caramels ever. I’ve made bajillions of caramel sauces, and caramel corn, and stuff, but never tried making them solid.
These are life altering guys and that’s why I had to share them. It took me quite a few tries (and maybe a few moments of acute frustration) to get them perfect without the use of corn syrup. I know that dealing with sugar is a little scary for some of you but all it takes is a little patience and practice.
These are actually not long or hard to make and they make the perfect gift to give. Wrap them in a pretty little box with a bow and a note and you’re seriously gonna make someone’s entire day, no, their entire holiday!
I will definitely recommend using a candy thermometer for this recipe and carefully following the instructions for proper temperatures. If done correctly these caramels are simple to perfect, however don’t be discouraged if your first few tries aren’t exact.
Edible Gifting Week #1: Chocolate Dipped Salted Caramels (Corn Syrup Free)
Candy making is such a fun holiday time activity and these caramels make the perfect gift. Wrap them up, serve them at parties, or simply enjoy them yourself!
Grease an 8x8 inch pan with oil. Line with parchment paper and grease parchment also.
Combine brown sugar and water in a medium saucepan and stir together well. Wipe down the side of pan with a wet spatula or pastry brush to make sure there are no sugar crystals stuck to the side. Place pan over low heat and bring the mixture slowly to a boil and cook for 8 to 10 minutes without stirring until it the syrup starts to darken and smell caramely. It should read somewhere between 270°F to 300°F on a candy thermometer.
While your syrup is boiling gently, mix the salt and cream in a separate small saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir until steaming and then set aside.
Once your syrup is ready, turn off heat and carefully pour in cream mixture (it will bubble). Stir gently, then return to heat and bring mixture back to a boil until it reaches 245°F to 250°F.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla quickly, then pour caramel into prepared pan.
Allow the caramel to cool and set for at least 3 hours or overnight. Once set, cut them into small squares. Melt chocolate in a double boiler and dip caramels to coat then place on wire rack to allow excess to drip off. If desired, sprinkle with sea salt then allow chocolate to dry.