Sometimes it seems hard to believe that the thought of making my own caramel would never have occurred to me before two years ago.  Amazing how present interests can dwarf all that came before, pushing it so far from my mind that I can’t imagine life before burning my tongue on hot, fresh caramel.

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In some ways, it reminds me of my evolution as an adult.  Yes, I’ve been tracking my maturation by interest in caramel-making.

It can seem like a daunting process, but as long as you’re vigilant and careful, making your own caramel is easy, not to mention impressive when you show it off at holiday parties.

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Not that I do that…but if you want to, I’m sure people would be impressed.  And I’m sure they’d be doubly impressed once they find out how ridiculously tasty your homemade caramel is too.

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Pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice add depth of flavor to these mellow candies, perfect for a pick-me-up on a chilly afternoon.

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One Year Ago: Mock Apple Strudel

Pumpkin Spice Caramels

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup good-quality maple syrup
  • ¼ cup of water
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • nutmeg or TJ’s coffee grinder for topping
Instructions
  1. Line the bottom of an 8” square pan with aluminum foil and grease with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine heavy cream, pumpkin puree and spices. Warm the mixture, until bubbles form on the sides, but do not let it boil.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, maple syrup and water over medium heat. Stir until the sugars are melted, then let it boil freely until it reaches 244 degrees (the soft ball point on a candy thermometer). Then, very carefully add the cream mixture, and slowly bring this mixture to 240 degrees, stirring frequently. This process can take anywhere from 15-45 mins.
  4. As soon as it reaches 240 degrees, remove saucepan from heat and stir in the butter until fully incorporated.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Let cool 10-15 minutes and sprinkle with nutmeg or give it a few good grinds over the top. Let the caramels fully set (at least 2 hours) before using a warm knife to cut them into 1-inch squares and wrapping them individually in waxed paper. The caramels will last up to two weeks stored at room temperature.
Notes

Makes about 60 caramels

Adapted from The Baker Chick