These apple cider caramels are a perfect combination of sweet and sour.
Apple Cider Caramels Recipe by Smitten Kitchen
4 cups (945 ml) apple cider 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 2 teaspoons flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, or less of a finer one 8 tablespoons (115 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into chunks 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar 1/2 cup (110 grams) packed light brown sugar 1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy cream Neutral oil for the knife
Boil the apple cider in a 3- to- 4- quart saucepan over high heat until it is reduced to a dark, thick syrup, between 1/3 and 1/2 cup in volume. Stir occasionally. Smitten Kitchen's recipe says this will take 30-45 minutes but be careful because times may vary! On my stove it took about an hour.
Meanwhile, get your other ingredients in order, because you won’t have time to spare once the candy is cooking. Line the bottom and sides of an 8- inch straight- sided square metal baking pan with 2 long sheets of crisscrossed parchment. Set it aside. Stir the cinnamon and flaky salt together in a small dish.
Once you are finished reducing the apple cider, remove it from the heat and stir in the butter, sugars, and heavy cream. Return the pot to medium- high heat with a candy thermometer attached to the side, and let it boil until the thermometer reads 252 degrees, this should take anytime between 5-15 minutes. Keep a close eye on it.
Immediately remove caramel from heat, add the cinnamon- salt mixture, and give the caramel several stirs to distribute it evenly. Pour caramel into the prepared pan. Let it sit until cool and firm—about 2 hours, though it goes faster in the fridge. Once caramel is firm, use your parchment paper sling to transfer the block to a cutting board. Use a well- oiled knife, oiling it after each cut (trust me!), to cut the caramel into 1-by-1-inch squares. Wrap each one in a 4-inch square of waxed paper, twisting the sides to close. Caramels will be somewhat on the soft side at room temperature, and chewy/firm from the fridge.
Store caramels in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.
It's always good to have cards pre-made in case an unexpected event pops up. I do have a few birthday and autumn cards saved up, but unfortunately, I do not have any sympathy cards. I don't even really have that many sympathy stamps. I will have to add that to my next stamp purchase. I boxed up some caramels and made this card for a friend who has lost somebody dear to her. Thoughts and prayers to her and the family.