For Mother's Day, in addition to the Cinco De Mayo feast, I wanted to make a personal gift from my kitchen. I chose to do Salted Vanilla Bean caramels and they were a HUGE hit.
Easy to make, these are not only visually impressive, but chewy, creamy and interesting. The hint of salt is really amazing with the sweet caramel. Make them for someone you love of keep them all to yourself. You won't be disappointed with this recipe!
Salted Vanilla Bean Caramels
Yield: 64 caramels
1 cup heavy cream
5 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean pod, split lengthwise and scraped
1 1/4 tsp. sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper. Lightly butter the parchment.
In a small saucepan, combine the cream, butter, vanilla extract, vanilla bean seeds, pods, and sea salt. Heat over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Boil, without stirring but gently swirling the pan occasionally, until the mixture is a light golden caramel color.
Remove the vanilla bean pods from the cream mixture and carefully stir the cream mixture into the caramel – the mixture will bubble up, so pour slowly and stir constantly. Continue simmering the mixture until it registers 248˚ F on a candy thermometer. Immediately remove from the heat and pour into the prepared pan. Let cool for 30 minutes, then sprinkle lightly with additional sea salt. Continue to let sit until completely set and cooled. Cut into 1-inch pieces (a buttered pizza cutter works well). Wrap the individual caramels in small pieces of wax paper, about 4-inch squares.
Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride