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.