Vanilla Bean Caramels with Fleur de Sel
The holidays always bring out the gift-giving spirit and homemade candy is a great way to show people you care. And with just one batch of the Vanilla Bean Caramels, you’ll have enough to share, making gifting that much sweeter.
Start the caramels by infusing heavy cream with a vanilla bean. Then, to ensure you end up with caramels that have an ultra-creamy texture, start by washing all traces of sugar from the sides of the pan before turning on the heat. Next, let the sugar begin to caramelize around the edges of the pan before swirling the pan or stirring its contents. Once the sugar mixture hits 325 degrees, pour in the steeped cream, add the butter and salt, then watch the thermometer (never leave the pan unattended) to get the perfect chewy caramel with rich, buttery, vanilla flavor.
Test Kitchen Tip
To cut the caramels without having a sticky mess on your hands, coat a sharp knife with nonstick spray. Recoat the knife, as necessary, for smooth cuts.
Line a 9×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper and coat with nonstick spray.
Steep vanilla bean and scraped seeds in cream in a saucepan over medium heat until steaming. Remove pan from heat and steep 20 minutes. Discard vanilla bean and transfer cream to a Pyrex measuring cup.
Stir together sugar, corn syrup, and ½ cup water in a large saucepan. Wash down sides of pan with a pastry brush dipped in water. Clip a candy thermometer onto pan. Bring sugar mixture to a boil over medium-high heat without stirring or moving the pan. Once mixture begins to darken around the edges, swirl pan to even out the caramelization; cook to 325°, 26–28 minutes.
Slowly pour steeped cream into caramel (mixture will boil furiously and produce a lot of steam). Add butter and salt. Stir caramel, and cook until it reaches 248°, 10–12 minutes.
Pour caramel into prepared pan and allow to cool completely. Cut caramels into 32 pieces, sprinkle with fleur de sel, wrap in waxed paper, and store in an airtight container.
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 10%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 24mg 8%
Sodium 39mg 1%
Carbs 16g 5%
Fiber 0g 0%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.