When you bite into these soft, chewy treats, you immediately taste the sweetness of spiced apple cider, followed by the luxurious flavor of butter.
2 cups apple cider
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon apple pie spice*
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cubed
Freshly ground cinnamon or course sea salt (optional)
* If you cannot find apple pie spice, substitute 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon,
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon allspice.
Pour cider into small saucepan and simmer over medium heat until reduced to 1/3
cup; approximately 35 to 40 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Line 8-inch square pan with buttered parchment paper or aluminum foil.
In small bowl, combine heavy cream, salt, apple pie spice, cinnamon and reduced
cider; set aside.
In large, heavy-bottom saucepan, combine sugar and corn syrup. Cook over low
heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Insert candy thermometer and simmer until
syrup reaches 234 degrees F.
Remove from heat, remove thermometer and very slowly whisk in cream mixture (mixture
will foam and may spatter). Add cubed butter and stir or whisk until cream and butter
are fully incorporated. Return pan to heat, reinsert thermometer and cook over low
heat, stirring frequently, until temperature reaches 250 degrees F.
Remove from heat and pour caramel into prepared pan; let mixture cool slightly,
then sprinkle with freshly ground cinnamon or sea salt, if desired.
Cool completely at room temperature or refrigerate until set.
Once set, remove caramel from pan lifting out by parchment paper or foil. Cut
caramel into 3/4-inch squares. Wrap each piece in small wax paper square, twisting
at each end.
Store caramels in airtight container in cool place or refrigerate up to 2 weeks.
To recreate the packaging for the Spiced Apple Caramels, find some festive paper
at a craft or scrapbook store, roll it into a cone shape, then tape it shut at the
seam. Add ribbon or other decorations and then fill the cone with candies.