Let’s make this year the sweetest year yet, with homemade caramel candies! These make ahead candies are the perfect add on to Christmas hosting gifts that make gift giving that much sweeter, and a little cuter too. Whether you are off to a cookie exchange, a holiday dinner, or stopping by a friends for some eggnog – pop a few caramels in a cellophane bag and voila an edible gift ready to share with friends.
I’m a big fan of homemade edible gifts during the holidays. It’s a gift that’s from the heart and it’s nice to slow down and spend time being festive in the kitchen (whether it’s baking with a loved one or spending some alone time).
If you’re like me your calendar fills up fast and there doesn’t seem to be much time for ‘relaxing’; spending the days sipping mulled wine and baking all day long. Here’s the trick, bake cookies and treats that freeze well or that have a great shelf life. My mom and I always bake our cookies and squares starting about now and freeze them until we are ready to share. Plus we can easily make little plates of cookies and treats for friends, and when an unexpected guest pops by, we have Christmas treats on hand to serve with a cup of tea or wine 😉 .
If you haven’t made homemade caramels before, all you really need is a candy thermometer. They are fun to make and the best part is the shelf life! I like to keep mine in the fridge, as the feedback that I’m getting, is the colder the candies the better. It’s just a preference, but one to try out if you decide to make these caramel candies.
Every year I like to try adding something new to my Christmas baking list, these caramel candies are an adorable addition to that list!
Happy Holiday Baking !
Homemade Caramel Candies
These make ahead caramel candies are the perfect add on to Christmas hosting gifts that make gift giving that much sweeter, and a little cuter too! They are buttery, chewy and a little nutty!
- Prep Time: 4 hours
- Total Time: 4 hours
- Yield: 56 candies 1x
- Category: Candy
- Cuisine: American
- 1 cup extra fine sugar (caster sugar)
- 1/3 cup corn syrup
- 250ml whipping cream
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Line an 8 x 8 inch pan with parchment paper, leaving lots of excess paper to overhang the pan.
- In a large heavy-duty saucepan melt whipping cream and butter together over medium heat. Turn heat off and set aside.
- Meanwhile in another saucepan, combine sugar, golden syrup and 1/4 cup water, stir to mix. Heat over medium heat and cook until the sugar dissolves. If necessary swirl the pan to help it cook evenly but don’t stir or it may crystallize.
- If using an instant-read thermometer clip to the side of the pan so that the heat sensor is immersed in the sugar. Do not stir the sugar after this point. I use a digital thermometer so it’s not necessary. Let the syrup come to a boil without stirring. Once the syrup reaches 250˚F – 300˚F. turn the heat off and slowly add the cream and butter mixture, whisking the mixture to combine.The sugar syrup will bubble up and double in size. Be careful.
- Turn the burner back on to medium-high heat and bring to a boil without stirring. Heat the caramel to 250˚F. Once the temperature reads 250˚F turn the heat off, whisk in the vanilla very carefully and working quickly pour the hot caramel into your prepared pan (Note, don’t scrape the bottom of the saucepan as there might be burnt caramel and you don’t want to add that in your pan). Bang the pan a few times on the counter to release any air bubbles.
- Wrap the pan in tinfoil once cooled and let the caramels set for at least 3 hours or ideally overnight. When the caramels have set, lift the caramel block out of the pan by the parchment paper flaps and onto a cutting board. Using a very large sharp knife, cut 1/2 inch strips. Then cut each strip into rectangles, approx. 1/2 inch by 1 inch.
- Wrap each caramel in wax paper and twist the ends closed.
- Store in the fridge for 3-4 weeks or at room temperature for about 2 weeks
Add sea salt for a salty twist or any other flavour you’d like to match with caramel. Just sprinkle on the top of caramels while still hot and let the caramels set with additional flavouring.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 29
- Sugar: 0.6g
- Sodium: 9mg
- Fat: 2.5g
- Saturated Fat: 1.6g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 1.6g
- Fiber: 0g
- Protein: 0.2g
- Cholesterol: 8mg
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