Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sea Salt and Chocolate covered Caramels

This year in all my Christmas baking I made caramels.  Everyone is always impressed with homemade caramels, and I don’t find it too hard to make them.  The only downside is wrapping all the little caramels once they are done. I usually end up doing this over a couple of days, which is how I came to this new small variation.

I had a bunch of caramels wrapped when O informed me that there was a baking competition at work the next day and he should take something.  I handed over my caramels (there were still lots left to be wrapped) and didn’t think anymore of it.  Turns out they were a big hit - they ran out of caramels during the eating/judging of the competition, oops.  What did come out of this though was the suggestion to coat the caramels in chocolate and sea salt.  I had some left and wasn’t excited about wrapping them, so why not play a little?

I am happy to say I did play with them and to my delight they were fantastic.  The bonus is that this doesn’t even take much more time than wrapping them, but really takes them to a whole special place on the dessert table!

I did some slight adaptations to the caramel recipe found on  I hope you enjoy these.

Sea Salt and Chocolate covered Caramels
1 cup butter
1 pound brown sugar
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup light corn syrup (i used golden, as that is pretty much all you can find here)
1 ½ tsp vanilla paste (or 1 ½ vanilla beans - well the insides of the beans - would work)

3 cups milk chocolate melting chips
Coarse sea salt

1. Prepare a 9x13 pan by lining it with parchment paper (or you could just grease it - I like the parchment paper as you can just lift out the caramels to cut them)
3.In a saucepan (preferably with a heavy bottom) combine the caramel ingredients: butter, sugar, milk, and corn syrup.  
4 Heat the mixture until you reach 234F, then cook for 2 minutes at this temperature, while stirring.
    Note: this will make very soft caramels, if you would like them a little firmer, cook them at 240F (I like the really soft ones, so I left it at 234F).
5. Take the caramels off the heat and add in the vanilla paste/beans.  Pour the caramels into the prepared 9x13 pan, and allow to set.
6. Once the caramels are set, cut them into bite sized squares - I did about ½ inch x 1 inch rectangles.
7. In a double boiler melt some of the melting chocolate pieces.  Once they are melted remove from heat. (if the chocolate starts to harden on you, just put it back on the heat for a couple of min).
8. Dip the caramel squares in the chocolate, set to cool on some parchment paper.  While the chocolate is still soft, sprinkle with some sea salt.

Note:  I found it easiest to work in small batches of the caramels at the time.  It was also easier to have the caramels cool while dipping them, as they held their shape a little better in the warm chocolate, so I kept the other batches of caramels in the fridge while I was working.

These were fantastic.  I had to give most of them away as I found I couldn’t stop eating them!  One person O work with even asked for a bunch of them to give as a Christmas present to someone!  They were a big hit and will have to be something that I make again.

The caramels by themselves are also great, so don’t worry about covering them all in chocolate! 

1 comment:

Zebe said...

Those look so pretty! Yummy...gluten free too!