Edit ModuleShow Tags

'Tis the Season of Caramels


With Halloween candy out of the way, my sweet tooth has turned toward a smoother, creamier cold-weather candy: caramels. Lustrous, sweet, and buttery, caramels are so simple and yet so luxurious. I remember the first time I ate a homemade caramel as a kid, and actually tasted the contrasting flavors of salty butter and caramelized sugar. I was hooked instantly.

With the holidays fast approaching, caramels are a sweet treat that are easy to transport, even if you’re flying. No matter where you’re headed, you can tote caramels with you, and when you use local honey, whipping cream, and butter in your caramels, you make your dish that much more Minnesotan.

I like this recipe. The brown sugar and honey create a subtle flavor difference from caramels made with corn syrup.


Makes about 75-100 pieces

2 cups white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup honey
1 cup evaporated milk
1 pint heavy whipping cream (room temperature)
1 cup salted butter (room temperature)
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

Coat a 12x15 inch pan with butter.

In a ridiculously clean medium-size pot, combine sugar, brown sugar, honey, and evaporated milk. Gently swirl (avoid stirring) until the sugar is dissolved. When the thermometer reaches 250°F, add the whipping cream, and butter. Simmer, stirring frequently with a stainless spoon. Don’t walk away from the pot. The temperature should not go higher than 250°F. You can brush down the interior walls of the pot with cold water to help prevent the sugar from becoming crystallized. After 15 minutes, remove the pot from the heat. Dip the pot into a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process.

Stir in the vanilla. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and let it cool for about 2 hours. Sprinkle with sea salt. Cut into small squares and wrap them in wax paper for storage.

Making caramels can be a bit fussy, and perhaps you’d rather not bother. No sweat. Locally made caramels are available, and they’re good. Just this month a local caramel maker, Sweet Jules Gifts, was featured in the “Best Holiday Food Gifts” feature on More.com (#14). Founded by sisters Jule Vranian and Hope Klocker, Sweet Jules launched in 2009 from food-business incubator Kindred Kitchen). You can order online.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Taste Blog

Lawless Distilling Bartender Named "Most Imaginative"

Minneapolis bartender Brandon Sass won the 12th Annual Most Imaginative Bartender regional competition

Toast the Royal Wedding with British-Gin Cocktails

As Britain’s Prince Harry and U.S.-actress Megan Markle tie the knot, raise a glass to the happy couple—and those close to you—with wedding-themed tipples

Bottoms-Up Cinnamon Caramel Pinwheels Recipe

With this fast version of a sticky bun, baking at home can be no muss, no fuss—and delicious

Leslie Bock's Newest Bar Wants to Save the Future

"We're attempting to show humans as messy and complicated."

Rosé All Day: The Best Tastings (Some Free)

More than 100 different rosé wines available to try—many for free

Wine Clubs: The Perfect Mother's Day Gift

Sip Better figures out your taste for wine and goes deep

Gavin Kaysen Takes Midwest Gold

A quick note on our 2018 James Beard Best Chef: Midwest

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: May

This month, Sue Z. recommends supporting local student chefs with a dinner at Saint Dinette

Greek Yogurt Marinated Chicken Kebabs Recipe

Get fired up for grilling season with tender, flavorful chicken kebabs by meat guru Bruce Aidells and a marinade that also works well with other proteins
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags