guinness & pretzel caramels
Not just for St. Patrick’s Day, these Guinness & Pretzel Caramels are so tasty that we intend to enjoy them all year long!
I have some super talented blog friends. Take Sandy Arevalo of Firefly Confections. She generously shared a collection of her incredible caramel recipes in her cookbook Artisan Caramels. Thankfully, I also have super a amazing best friend who was kind enough to gift me with Sandy’s cookbook for Christmas. With so many delicious flavors to choose from, picking my first recipe was a challenge. As soon as I saw that stout was involved, her Stout & Pretzel Caramels were a clear winner.
These were fabulous for St. Patrick’s Day, but would be a fun addition to game nights, special treats for the men in your life, or any occasion when you need a uniquely boozy sweet and salty treat.
I love caramels, especially boozy caramels, and I love Guinness. I tolerate pretzels. I only love them when they’re the salty half of a sweet and salty confection and boy do I love them in this recipe. Reducing the Guinness yields a distinct stout flavor while the natural caramelization of the sugar keeps it from becoming too bitter. My pretzels weren’t as salty as I had hoped so I topped my batch with an extra sprinkling of vanilla bean sugar and ended up with one of my favorite batches of caramels to date.
Sandy’s recipe was delightfully easy to follow and her step by step photos at the beginning of the book are sure to guarantee success even for the beginner candy maker. Don’t fret, if you’re not quite ready to try your hand at delicious artisan caramels at home, you can order directly from the master herself at Firefly Confections. I seriously cannot say enough about this beautiful collection of artisan recipes. The hardest part is deciding what to make next – s’mores, cinnamon roll, honey walnut? One of each? Yes, please!
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 8 ounces Guinness
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean sea salt, divided
- approximately 2 cups crushed pretzel pieces
- Line a 9×13 inch rectangle cake pan by criss-crossing two sheets of parchment paper, being sure to cover all sides. Spray lightly with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, boil stout until reduced to ¼ cup in volume.
- Combine cream, sugar, butter, corn syrup, and stout reduction a deep, heavy bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Take caution as caramel can violently boil if left unattended and popping bubbles can burn the skin.
- Continue to cook until temperature reaches 248 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from heat, quickly stir in ½ teaspoon of sea salt, and pour into prepared pan.
- Sprinkle with an even layer of pretzel pieces and remaining ½ teaspoon of sea salt.
- Allow to cool and set completely before cutting into squares.
Artisan Caramels by Sandy Arevalo
High Temperature Candy Thermometer