These easy salted caramels are meant to be cut and wrapped. They are perfectly soft and melt in your mouth candy to make at home to impress anyone you are willing to share them with (and it might not be that many people). A fantastic homemade holiday gift idea, once you make them you'll be having requests for years!
If you are looking for caramel that doesn't require a candy thermometer, I recommend checking out this slow cooker dulce de leche. You can also learn a little bit more about caramel on my candy science page.
Caramel means different things to different people. When you talk to a chef, they are thinking caramelized sugar. If you were to talk to a confectioner, they are thinking cooking milk and sugar. The time it takes you to cook the caramel and the temperature you cook caramel to will determine the finished taste and texture.
Ingredients for easy salted caramels
- white sugar gives the caramel a clean and light taste. If you are looking for a deeper flavor you can take brown sugar and fully replace the white sugar or partially replace it. If you replace any of the white sugar, it will also cause the easy salted caramels to have a darker color.
- corn syrup adds body to the easy salted caramels and prevents the caramel from crystalizing.
- Milk Sources
- Evaporated Milk
- the primary dairy source in these easy salted caramels, it is easy to work with an available in most places.
- Heavy cream
- our second dairy source, it provides an excellent flavor profile but causes cooking time to be increased slightly because it contains a lot of water.
- Evaporated Milk
- Salt brings out caramel flavor and balances out the sweetness in this silky smooth caramel.
- Butter is important to caramel a lot of different reasons! First, for flavor. Secondly, mouthfeel, and third, the cooking process. It's important in the cooking process of caramel because it helps prevent the boil over in the pot and saves you from cleaning up a really messy stove! Butter will also make cutting and handling the caramel easier. However, too much butter will result in an oily exterior and greasy mouthfeel so striking the right balance is key.
Equipment for easy salted caramels
- heavy duty thick bottomed pot. You'll need at least an 8 quart pot.
- candy thermometer
- high heat spatula or wooden spoon
- parchment paper
- 9x13" sheet pan with edges
This caramel takes about 45 minutes to cook over medium high heat. If you start to notice the caramel getting ready to boil over, you can turn your heat back until it settles down. Eventually, enough water will boil out that you will not need to do this, and if you want to avoid it all together I recommend a very large pot!
Corn syrup is added once the rest of the ingredients are cooked to 230F. The caramel is then cooked to 239F.
Cutting and Wrapping
Caramel needs to set for a minimum of 12 hours before you cut it but 24 hours is ideal. The time helps set the sugar structure and solidifies the caramel. When you go to cut your caramels, how big you'd like your caramel pieces is a personal preference. Using a ruler will help you make nice even pieces, and a gram scale can make sure each piece is the same. I find using a gram scaled to weigh out each piece is too time consuming and only use a ruler.
Wrapping materials for easy salted caramels:
When you go to wrap these, you'll want to make sure whatever you wrap them in is cut to around 5" x 5". I love using precut wraps because then I don't have to cut anything.
- cello candy wraps
- wax paper
- parchment paper
Storage and shelf life
Store wrapped caramel in an airtight container at room temperature. Caramel will last approximately 4 months before the texture changes and 6-9 months before any noticeable different in flavor changes.
- large, thick bottomed pot 8 quart or higher
- 680 grams Evaporated Milk 2 , 12 ounce cans
- 280 grams Heavy Cream fill up one of the 12 ounce cans
- 700 grams Sugar
- 5 grams Salt
- 200 grams Butter
- 570 grams Corn Syrup
- Line a 9 x 13" pan with parchment paper, leaving some overhang on the sides so you can easily lift the finished caramel out of the pan.
- Combine all ingredients except for corn syrup in a heavy duty thick bottomed pot.
- Over medium heat, stirring constantly, cook to 230F.
- Slowly stream in corn syrup.
- Return to a boil, continue cooking until 239F. Do not stop stirring.
- Turn off heat. Pour into prepared pan. Let cool.
- Cover when cool to touch and let sit overnight to set up.
- Using a greased knife, cut into desired size. Wrap in 5 x 5 " squares of wax paper, parchment paper, or use precut candy wrappers.