Monday, March 30, 2015 at 8:05PM
Every now and then we dabble with cooking with our cider. We have to admit, the vast majority of the time we prefer just to sip it as it is, but when we can bring ourselves to cook with it, it yields some pretty fantastic results. This time—it's cider caramels!
These caramels are a great balance of buttery toffee with just a touch of cider character that cuts the sweet and brings it all together. Even better: they're super quick and easy to make, yielding a big reward for just a little effort. Here's how we made them:
- 1/4 cup cider
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tbsp butter
Combine all the above ingredients in a small heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. If you have a candy thermometer, put it in at the beginning, let it heat with the caramel to 260 degrees. If you don’t have a candy thermometer you can do what we did – watch the caramel until the drips are slow to fall off the spoon and start to just hang there. Or you can drop it into some cold water to check its consistency.
The texture we’re after will be quite soft when hot, but will cool to a firm-but-flexible caramel (kind of like the old Canadian Mackintosh’s Toffee) that is both pliable and shatters when smacked against the counter or with a spoon.
When the caramel reaches the right temperature (about 5 minutes), pour onto a plate or small pan lined with a piece of parchment paper and cool to room temperature. After it cools, cut into small squares or bars. We wrapped ours in parchment paper to keep from eating them all at once. They taste amazing just as they are, but they're also pretty good with the tops dipped in cinnamon.