While I have quite the sweet tooth, my other great love in life is a good whiskey. In fact, when I moved into my new apartment, my house warming presents were pretty evenly split between baking soda and bourbon – clearly my friends know me well!
That said, it only seemed appropriate that I find a way to incorporate my love of bourbon with my love of baked goods – and these whiskey caramels do just that.
One note – there is no way to make caramels without making a mess. Don’t try this the night before you need to show off your apartment, or the day after you have a cleaning person come. Just trust me on this one.
Salted Whiskey Caramels
5 tablespoons butter (salted)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup whiskey (I used Makers 46, but Jack Daniels and Knob Creek also work well)
1 ½ tsp vanilla
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 ½ cups white sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
¼ cup water
1 tsp sea salt for sprinkling on top
1) Butter a 8×8 pan and set aside.
2) Heat the heavy cream, butter, whiskey, and vanilla over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Remove immediately from heat, and set aside.
3) In a large saucepan, mix the sugar, water, and corn syrup. Heat over medium-high heat, but DO NOT STIR. Bring to a boil, and continue to cook until it is golden brown.
4) Once the sugar mixture is golden brown, stir in the heavy cream/butter mix. Careful: it will bubble up violently. Stir occasionally over medium-high heat until the mixture reaches 244 degrees. This usually takes 15 minutes or so, but will depend on temperature/humidity/etc.
5) Once the caramels have hit 244 degrees, remove immediately from heat and pour into the 8×8 pan. Let sit for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with 1 tsp sea salt.
6) Let cool completely before cutting into 1inch squares.