Monday, February 11, 2013

Perfect Cinnamon Caramels

I have been on the search for cinnamon caramels for a while, and can I just send out a huge thanks to Brenda from A Farm Girl's Dabbles for her wonderful recipe!  These caramels are so delicious, I ate way way too many of them.  If you would like to see her original recipe please visit her darling site HERE.  All the credit for this recipe goes to her!

These would be perfect for Valentines Day.  So bust out your candy thermometer  go to your local craft store, grab some cinnamon oil and get cookin! :)

**a quick note of advice.  I calibrated my candy thermometer and it was two degrees off, however I still cooked it to the full 240 degrees...and may even cook it a couple degrees more next time.  I suggest calibrating your thermometer (instructions bellow) and then have a glass of ice water next to you as you are boiling the caramel.  Test it a couple times to make sure it feels right.

Cinnamon Valentine Caramels
2 c. white sugar
1-1/2 c. light corn syrup
1-1/2 c. heavy cream
1 c. butter, plus 1/2 T. for buttering the pan
2 tsp. cinnamon oil (I used cinnamon oil from a Wilton candy flavorings multi pack, from Michael’s)
1-1/2 tsp. red food color gel  (I used Wilton red “no taste” icing color, from Michael’s.)
(Cinnamon oil is very strong, but necessary for reaching a stronger cinnamon flavor.  Be careful to not get it on your skin, as it can cause irritation. For a more subtle cinnamon flavor, substitute 3 tsp. cinnamon extract for the cinnamon oil. The extract can be found in the baking section of your grocery store.)
Butter a 9″ x 13″ pan and set aside.
Place all ingredients except the cinnamon oil and the red coloring in a heavy medium sauce pan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring quite constantly, until it reaches 240°.  This will take awhile, but don’t wander too far away, as the temperature seems to rise quickly right at the end.  Take off heat and stir in the cinnamon oil and red coloring.  Pour into your buttered pan.  Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate to set.  Take out of refrigerator and let sit for about 10 minutes before cutting.
If you want to gift these caramels, simply cut them into your desired size and wrap in wax paper.
Please note:  Using candy thermometers can be a tricky thing.  Thermometers seem to vary, which can give you different results.  When Mom makes these caramels, she cooks them to 236°, as her thermometer registers a bit differently than mine.  If you want to calibrate your thermometer, to know exactly where yours sits, I found a great tutorial over at Our Best Bites.