maple old fashioned caramels
Turn your favorite cocktail into dessert – hints of sweet orange and cherry are spiked with a splash of maple whiskey in these Maple Old Fashioned Caramels.
You know that Maple Old Fashioned I was telling you about earlier this week? Turns out it makes some pretty incredible caramels too. For Mother’s Day my sweet mommy requested that I forgo extravagant gifts so that we’d have extra adventure funds for our Caribbean vacation later this year. She did, however, hint that if a batch of homemade caramels showed up at her doorstep she would not turn them away. One sip of a Maple Old Fashioned and I knew exactly what flavor of caramels would celebrate her special day.
Due to the length of time that the whiskey cooks these caramels are not overly boozy, but instead have a rich flavor that is quite magical without screaming alcohol. You won’t get drunk off of these buttery morsels of delight, but you will enjoy notes of orange and cherry with a hint of whiskey. They’re quite lovely if I do say so myself.
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
- 2-3 dashes angostura bitters
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- ¼ cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 ounces (1/4 cup) Maple Crown Royal
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Line an 9×9 inch square cake pan by criss-crossing two sheets of parchment paper, being sure to cover all sides. Spray lightly with cooking spray and set aside.
- Combine orange juice, cherry juice, angostura bitters, sugar and corn syrup in a deep saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil until mixture is fragrant and a deep golden brown, swirling occasionally.
- In a small saucepan, bring cream, Maple Crown Royal, butter and sea salt to a simmer while waiting for the sugar mixture to brown. Once simmering and butter melted, remove from heat and set aside.
- When sugar mixture is ready, turn off heat and slowly add cream mixture. Make sure that you use a deep saucepan for the sugar mixture and take caution as the sugar and cream combination will bubble violently at first.
- Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon and return the caramel to medium low heat. Stirring occasionally, cook for about 10 minutes until a candy thermometer reads 248 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Once desired temperature is reached, remove from heat and carefully pour caramel into prepared cake pan. Do not scrape sides of saucepan; this caramel will be slightly overdone and can be discarded.
- Refrigerate until caramel is set, about two hours.
- Remove caramel from pan and cut into desired size with a sharp knife. Wrap caramels with 4×4″ squares of candy foil or wax paper.
*If you’re looking for the best way to boost the alcohol content of caramels, try substituting a cream liquor (think Bailey’s) for some of the heavy cream since you can swap out up to a half a cup without watering down the caramel base.