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A couple months ago, I saw bourbon caramels in the airport on the way home from Kentucky and decided to give them a whirl at home.  I figured since they had bourbon in them, this would be a good recipe to post near Father’s Day if you’re looking for a little treat to make the dad in your life.  My dad is nearly impossible to shop for, so I like to make him treats instead.  A while back he told me about the blueberry pie that my grandmother used to make when he was growing up, so last year for Father’s Day, he got a big homemade blueberry pie!  There will probably be something similar in the works for him this year.  I hope he doesn’t read the blog before Sunday!  Spoiler!

 

Candy making can seem a little scary, and I’ll admit, whenever I make things like this I hold my breath until it comes out right.  But once you do it, you realize how NOT hard it is to make really yummy treats that you’d normally buy at the store.  It takes a little extra patience, but the difference between homemade and store bought isn’t anywhere close to comparable.  If you follow these instructions step by step,  you can’t mess these up.  Then you’ll either want to thank me or kick me for showing you how easy it is to keep homemade candy around your house. (wink)

 

Salted Bourbon Caramels

recipe adapted from Pillsbury

5 Tbsp of butter

1 cup of heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup of your choice of bourbon

1 tsp of vanilla

1/4 tsp of kosher salt

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1/4 cup water

coarse sea salt for sprinkling on set caramels
Line a 9 inch square pan with parchment paper by laying two pieces over each other.
In a medium size saucepan, bring butter, cream, bourbon, vanilla and salt to a boil.  Watch it closely as the cream will boil over very quickly.  Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a larger saucepan, mix together the sugars, corn syrup and water.  Attach the candy thermometer to the side of the pot.  Bring the sugar up to a boil, WITHOUT stirring, until the thermometer reaches 310 degrees.  About 10-15 minutes.
When the sugar reaches 310 degrees, pour the cream mixture into to sugar mixture and whisk.  The sugar will bubble up, but continue to whisk.
This is very important and will make or break your caramel…the cream will cause the sugar to drop in temperature.  Continue to cook it allowing it to drop as far as it’s going to drop and keep whisking until the temperature comes back up to 250 degrees.  This whole process will take another 10-15 minutes.
When the thermometer reaches 250, pour the caramel into the parchment lined pan and allow it to cool completely.  Sprinkle with the sea salt and cut into squares.  You can wrap them individually in parchment paper if you like.

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