Apple Cider Caramels

Every Fall, King Arthur Flour puts out delicious recipes that entrance you into the spirit of baking to enjoy the flavors and smells of the season and entice you to come visit their store in Norwich, VT.

Going to their store is always a treat – if you bake – hell, if you just like food – it’s a place that will make you smile. If you’re a baker? It’s a slice of Heaven on Earth.

Many of their recipes call for specific ingredients that are made just for King Arthur, but as I’ve stated before in other posts using their recipes, KAF is a company that values their constituents. If it’s not stated in the recipe, give the Baker’s Hotline a call, and they will often give you a viable alternative or help you find one.

This Apple Cider Caramel recipe calls for their Boiled Apple Cider, and I will say that it’s worth the cost because you can add it to so many things throughout the season – whipped cream, glazes, and frosting for cakes and cupcakes. KAF will even a multitude of ways and recipes to use this worthy purchase, but if you’re still not feeling the love, then KAF will also give you the intel to make your own boiled cider.

It’s a process, but if you’re down with the time and effort, I fully support you in your endeavors. Kudos to you for being crafty that way.

Candy making shouldn’t be daunting. Just make sure you have a quality candy thermometer that you trust. I personally use the Super-Fast Thermapen MK4, and have never regretted a penny I spent on it.

Honestly, until this thermometer, I couldn’t make candy to save my life – I couldn’t find a decent candy thermometer that could give me an accurate reading, so my candy was never quite right. You can likely say it was user error, and I’ll likely agree with you.


I mean, seriously, once you add the cream, this pot just already looks like a wee bit of lovely. When you have butter and heavy cream in the same pot, only good things can come from that, in my humble opinion.

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And once it actually all melts together, you can already see the deliciousness that is to come down the pike in a short time.

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Make sure you watch the thermometer closely, especially towards the end. The temperature will read in the 220F range for a while, and then suddenly start to spike as the caramel nears the end of its boil time. I turned away for less than a minute, and my temperature spiked to 252F. The caramels turned out fine, but were slightly less soft that I personally prefer them. No one has said boo, other than they taste amazing.

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Pour them in the pan and walk away overnight. Walk away. Well, unless you want them salted, which I would HIGHLY recommend. Add the salt about 20 minutes after your pour.

The recipe says the salt will meld into the caramel so you won’t see it, but will taste it. But mine did not, and I am perfectly OK with that. Because even if the salt had melded in, I’d have come back after another 20 minutes and sprinkled some more on top.

Trust me, you want the salt. It is the perfect enhancement to the sweet apple cider flavor.

See?! Live humans love that you make KAF recipes and share them. They get it. The salt makes them weak in the knees, too.

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Make sure to cut the caramels small. A few of my pieces were more like 3 bite caramels. No harm. No foul. Everyone was still happy as a clam eating them, and you will have plenty to share for Halloween or gift giving throughout the holiday season.

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And the extra sweet thing?? These will keep for months in a sealed baggie. Hide them away in a safe space and you will be able to nosh on yumminess for a while 😉

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I’m not ready to go into the candy making business, like Tahana [drrroooollll], but I’m thinkin’ I might have a keeper here.

Apple Cider Caramels

Apple pie meets caramel in these soft, chewy candies. When wrapped in parchment they're the perfect homemade treat to hand out Halloween or have on hand for gift giving during the Holiday season. 

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword apple, apple cider, caramel, dessert, fall baking, salt
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 64 caramels
Author King Arthur Flour

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream or whipping cream
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/8 cup 6 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted
  • 1/2 cup boiled cider
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Apple Pie Spice**

Instructions

  1. Lightly grease an 8" x 8" baking pan and line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on opposite sides.
  2. Combine the cream, corn syrup, sugar, butter, and boiled cider in a 4-quart, heavy-bottom, deep saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce to medium-high heat and cook, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 248°F on a candy thermometer, 20 to 30 minutes, depending on your particular stove. Want to make a softer caramel? See "recipe notes," below.

  3. Remove the pan from the heat; stir in the salt and spice.
  4. Pour the hot mixture into the prepared pan. Let it stand for 12 to 18 hours at room temperature before cutting into 1" squares.
  5. To wrap the caramels, use 6" squares of parchment paper. Place one caramel in the center of each square; wrap the opposite edges of the paper around the caramel and twist the exposed edges to close.

Recipe Notes

**No Apple Pie Spice? Substitute 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg or allspice
For softer caramels, boil the mixture until it reaches 242°F to 245°F. You'll need to refrigerate the caramels once they're completely cool. Remove them from the refrigerator about 15 minutes prior to cutting and wrapping. Wrap in squares of waxed paper or parchment. To make apple cider caramel sauce, start by cutting all of the ingredient amounts in half. Boil the mixture to about 226°F to 230°F ("thread" stage on your candy thermometer). The sauce will be a spreadable consistency (like peanut butter) direct from the fridge; softer at room temperature; and will become pourable when you heat it. Store sauce for a few days at room temperature; refrigerate for longer storage. Yield: about 1 3/4 cups sauce. For a "salty caramel" experience, sprinkle the caramels with large-grain (moderately coarse) sea salt about 20 minutes after pouring the caramel into the pan. The salt will disappear from view, but you'll taste it in the finished candy.

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