Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gingerbread Caramels

As you know, I love to cook.  And I love to feed people.  I do not have the time or the audience that I had when I was in grad school.  As such, I have to make the most of the opportunities I do have.  Since this is a four day weekend, and I finished work four hours early today, I decided to get started on my holiday care packages.

I have an out-of-town trip for work next week, and decided to bring some blessings to my friends to the north!

This is just an altered version of my basic caramels, but heavenly:

2 cups sugar
2 cups light corn syrup
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon (I use Vietnamese cinnamon)
3/4 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Line a 9 x 13 inch cake pan with parchment paper, ensuring that the bottom and sides of the pan are covered.

Combine sugar, corn syrup, butter, half-and-half, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves in 5 qt saucepan and attach a candy thermometer.

Cook over medium-high heat stirring occasionally until mixture reaches 245*F.

Remove from heat.  Slowly stir in heavy cream.  Completely incorporate cream.

Return to heat and cook over medium until mixture reaches 245*F again.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.

Immediately pour into prepared pan.

Cool 2 hours.  Cover with plastic wrap and finish cooling overnight.

Cut into 1/2 x 3/4 inch rectangle and wrap in squares of waxed paper.

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