Coffee Caramels

April 01, 2013

Ideal for delicious gifts!

Sweetened with honey, these candies have a very sophisticated flavor and are ideal for a low-cost, delicious gift for everyone at school, at work, and in the neighborhood - for holiday treats, or any celebration.

You will need a candy thermometer - they are available at most major supermarkets and very inexpensive (under $5) and parchment paper.

This recipe makes 24 caramels and easily doubles or triples.

1 cup heavy cream 
1 tablespoon finely ground espresso beans - should be powdery. (French or Italian roast coffee, crushed to a powder also works)
½ teaspoon high-quality sea salt 
1 cup honey

Cut parchment paper into 2" square pieces; about 24, to use to wrap the candies.
Line a cooking sheet with parchment or coat lightly with safflower or sunflower oil. Silicone mats are fine, too. Set aside while you cook the ingredients.

To avoid impacting the flavor of the candies, use a wooden spoon for stirring versus a metal one. 
In a heavy medium saucepan, heat together the cream, espresso powder and salt just until bubbles appear, no longer. 
Stir in the honey, and then bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and, stirring constantly, continue cooking until the mixture reaches 260°F. which should be about 20 minutes. Always use the candy thermometer to verify the temperature, not the clock.
Pour the mixture into a heat-resistant bowl, allow to cool then refrigerate about 10 minutes to thicken further.

To make into individual candies, first stir the mixture using the wooden spoon, then drop one tablespoon of the mixture at a time on the baking sheet. 
Allow to cool completely, then shape each into balls or flatten and cut into squares, or roll into a long tubular shape and cut in 1 ½" increments. 
Wrap each in the pre-cut parchment paper by placing the candy square in the middle of the paper, fold over the sides, and then twist each end. 
Set aside in a cool place to completely set or refrigerate. 
To present as gifts, place 6 pieces in a large square of colored cellophane, fold into a reticule then tie with a ribbon. 
You could even add a little gift card, "Made especially for you by________[your name]".

Image may vary from recipe.