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Deb Perelman’S Apple Cider Caramels

Deb Perelman’s apple cider caramels

Delightful, chewy caramels that taste like apple pie in candy form. Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 hr

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups (945 ml) apple cider (the non-alcoholic kind that resembled unpasteurized, spiced apple juice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 + 1 teaspoons flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, divided
  • 8 tablespoons (115 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (110 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy cream
  • Neutral oil for the knife

Instructions
 

  • In a large pot, bring the 4 cups of cider to a boil, and cook on medium-high heat for 35-45 minutes, stirring once in a while, until it is reduced to a dark, thick syrup, between 1/3 and 1/2 cup in volume.
  • Meanwhile, set out your other ingredients, because time is of the essence when the candy begins cooking. Line the bottom and sides of an 8- inch square metal baking pan with 2 long sheets of perpendicular parchment. Set it aside. Stir the cinnamon and 1 tsp of the flaky salt together in a small dish.
  • Once you are finished reducing the apple cider, stir in the butter, sugars, and cream. Return the pot to medium-high heat, and let it boil until the thermometer reads 252 degrees (about 5 minutes).
  • Immediately remove caramel from heat, add the cinnamon-salt mixture, stir to distribute it evenly.
  • Pour caramel into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tsp of flaked salt.
  • Allow to cool until it's firm -- about 2 hours. Once caramel is firm, transfer it to a cutting board. Use a well-oiled knife, oiling it after each cut (Deb's invaluable advice on this), to cut the caramel into 1x1-inch squares. Wrap each one in a 4-inch square of waxed paper, twisting the sides to close. Caramels will be somewhat on the soft side at room temperature, and chewy/firm from the fridge.