Apple Cider Caramels

October 14, 2014

All the flavors of a tall glass of spiced apple cider wrapped up into one little caramel. These things are decadently delicious! They have got to be the most flavorful caramels I’ve ever eaten. I love how they’re chewy and soft all at once, and they are creamy and buttery (unlike that caramel you’d buy at the grocery store). And their scent is heavenly.

When you pair their sweetness with with saltiness of Maldon or Fleur de Sel wonders happen (I’d highly recommend using one or the other because these caramels have a high concentrated sweetness so I think they need some salt to balance that out).

Apple Cider Caramels | Cooking Classy

This was my first time making apple cider caramels and it won’t be my last. I love the flavor of apple cider especially when those fall spices are added. It just one of those things that will carry memories with it, like thinking of that stroll through the pumpkin patch while holding a cup of warm apple cider in your mittens.

Just be careful when you are boiling the cider, I learned the hard way, keep a close eye on it during the last 10 minutes. Let’s just say my first attempt at reducing the cider (which I’d never done before) didn’t go over so well because it does begin to thicken and turn to a rich caramel like sauce near the end, and it will rapidly begin to reduce (which I had no idea).

I set a timer for 5 minutes near the end, went upstairs while I was waiting for the timer to go off and came back to a pot filled with black mess, my daughter called it “coal.” Kinda funny, kinda sad. Oh don’t we hate those moments though.

You are going to love these sweetly spiced, apple flavored little candies! They would make the perfect gift for family or friends!

Apple Cider Caramels | Cooking Classy

Apple Cider Caramels | Cooking ClassyApple Cider Caramels | Cooking Classy

Apple Cider Caramels

The perfect fall caramel recipe! Flavored with reduced apple cider and delicious sweet spices.

Servings: 50
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1 cup heavy cream , divided
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 pinch cloves (fill an 1/8 tsp halfway full)
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter , diced into 1 Tbsp pieces
  • 1/2 tsp salt (I used fine sea salt)
  • Maldon or Fleur de Sel , for topping, to taste

Instructions

  1. Add cider to a large saucepan, set over medium-high heat and allow to simmer until reduced to 1/3 cup (keep a close eye on it during the last 10 minutes, it can burn. Keep a glass liquid measuring cup nearby to pour and measure, then return to pan as needed to reduce a little longer until it measured 1/3 cup), about 25 minutes (cook time will vary based on size of pan and burner temp, it might be less it might be more). Set aside to cool.

  2. Butter and line and 8-inch baking pan with two sheets of parchment paper (one going each direction) leaving a 1-inch over hang on each end, and butter paper.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together 2/3 cup of the cream, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, nutmeg and reduced cider. In a 3-quart heavy bottom saucepan combine sugar, remaining 1/3 cup cream, corn syrup and water.

  4. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves, then cook mixture, stirring occasionally, until mixture reaches 234 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in cream mixture.

  5. Add butter and stir to melt. Return to medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally until mixture reaches 246 degrees on a candy thermometer.

  6. Remove from heat and carefully pour caramel into prepared baking dish. Allow to rest at room temperature or in refrigerator until caramel is set. Sprinkle with Maldon then cut into squares or rectangles and wrap in wax paper. Store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks, bring to room temperature before enjoying.

Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from Our Best Bites and Wisconsin Cheese

Nutrition Facts
Apple Cider Caramels
Amount Per Serving
Calories 67 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 11mg4%
Sodium 27mg1%
Potassium 13mg0%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 127IU3%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 5mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Treat
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Apple Cider Caramels, Camamels
Author: Jaclyn
apples

 

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28 Comments

  • Jennifer

    Can you think of any reasons these would not set. I have my THIRD attempt in the pan setting right now. I’ve made the recipe to a tee every time. I let it cook a little longer this time?? The flavors are beautiful. I really want this to work.

    • Wendy

      Hi Jennifer, I haven’t made this particular recipe yet BUT I make caramels of all types on a regular basis. It’s not the cooking time, it’s the temperature. If you are not already using one, get an instant read candy thermometer. If you already have one, calibrate it to make sure it’s accurate – 212 F is boiling point for water. One other question – are you at altitude? If so, that might be affecting the recipe.

  • Wendy

    Would these caramels be very firm since you are cooking them to 250 degrees? The flavors sound wonderful, but I usually pull my caramels at 243 or 244 to make sure they are soft caramels, but then again, my recipes start with the cream in the pot, not being added later. Can anyone tell me the texture they’ve gotten?

  • Betsey

    I really would love to make and ship these to a friend. What would you suggest wrapping them in? I’ve made taffy before and I felt when I wrapped it in wax paper that it stuck, will the caramel do that?

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      To be honest I was to lazy to wrap these this time around because I wasn’t giving them away so I just kept them in the airtight container I’d poured them in :). I’d imagine that plastic wrap you see some caramels from the store come in would work best for these but I’ve had a hard time finding it myself.

  • Laura Dembowski

    Homemade caramels are one of my favorite treats. Never tried making them with apple cider though. So perfect for fall!

  • Jamie @ Love Bakes Good Cakes

    I have always wanted to try Apple Cider Caramels – this looks absolutely perfect!

  • Laura | Fork Knife Swoon

    I had the same thing happen to me reducing apple cider! Took my eyes off it for just a moment towards the end, and looked back to see a black, bubbly, sludgy glue in the bottom of the skillet. These caramels look fabulous! Must try!

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I’m glad I’m not the only one :) – sorry it happened to you too though!

      • Claudia

        Simple hack: I’ve used frozen apple juice concentrate and it works fantasticly. Also, if I feel that the tartness needs to be kicked up, I put in a pinch of citric acid.

  • melissa

    I like your microwave caramel recipe. But I love apple cider aspect of this one. I am wondering how I could adapt that recipe with this one. Reduce the cider and add that along with the spices to the microwave recipe?

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I wondered if it could ever work as a microwave version too? I imagine it could but it would have to take some testing.

  • India

    Ooh these sound gorgeous, I’d love to try it with different flavoured ciders too!