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.
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.
**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.