Sunday, December 11, 2011

From My Kitchen: Gingerbread Carmels

I meant to blog this on Friday, but Jeff and I had an actual date that night. So there just wasn't time to post in between getting gussied up and trying to make the sitter's job easy enough that she'll come back again.

I made these for the first time last week, and they instantly went on my "must make" list of Christmas goodies. They are delicious.

I went looking for a recipe when my sister Judy said she'd bought some gingerbread carmels somewhere and loved them. I found the recipe at A Crafty Lass. She's apparently tinkered with Martha Stewart's recipe, which I haven't tasted, but Crafty Lass's results are yum, yum, yummy! I thank her for bringing these into my life.

Here's the recipe:

Gingerbread Carmels
Makes about 12 dozen

2 pints heavy cream
2 cups light corn syrup
4 cups granulated sugar
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
½ cup unsulfured molasses
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
Coat a 12x17 rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Line it with parchment paper leaving a 2-inch overhang on the short sides of the sheet. Lightly spray the parchment with cooking spray.
In a large pot (LARGE! This stuff expands.) over high heat, add the heavy cream, corn syrup, sugar, butter, and molasses, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-high, stirring frequently, allowing it to reach a temperature of 248 degrees on a candy thermometer. This took about 25 minutes. Be sure to stay close once you've reach about 230 degrees. It goes fast from there.
Meanwhile, stir together the salt and spices in a small bowl. As soon as the caramel reaches 248 degrees, take it off the heat and stir in the spices and vanilla carefully as it might spatter a bit. Stir the caramel continuously for 30 seconds to incorporate the spices into it, making sure there aren't any pockets of spice hiding. Pour the caramel onto the prepared baking sheet. (Crafty Lass says she scrapes the pan although Martha says not to. I did NOT scrape the pan, because I really, really didn't want these to sugar. They came out perfect.)
Allow the caramel to set for 24 hours without moving it.
Place a large cutting board over the baking sheet and flip it over. Peel the parchment off of the caramel and discard. With a large sharp knife, cut the caramel into 1-inch wide strips and then cut each strip into bite-sized pieces. Cut wax paper into approximately 3x3 squares and wrap each caramel in it. The caramels will keep for at least a month.

Let me just say, these carmels won't keep for a month in my house! And when I made them I failed to read all the way to the end of the recipe. So that part where it says not to move the pan for 24 hours? Well, my carmels would have been full of little finger holes if I hadn't moved them. They still turned out fine.

I'm nearing the end of my Christmas baking frenzy, and I'll have another recipe or two to share from my goodie making soon. In the meantime, grab your candy thermometer and make these. They aren't difficult, and they are absolutely worth the time.


© Trippin' Mama 2011

1 comment:

Kaia said...

Those sound good! Not sure if I should make them because I might be the only one eating them.. :(