Friday, April 4, 2014

Spiked Coffee Caramels

I've always said that I am a better cook than I am a baker. And sometimes, miraculously, my baking skills come out of hiding and make something incredible. Like last week's coffee cake. But other times my attempts are an epic failure. Like last week's burnt batch of scones. But my boyfriend was sweet and after picking off the burnt edges and eating what was salvageable, he encouraged me to try again because they had "promise". Plus that means more scones for him to eat. I see what his end game is here. Don't think I'm not on to him! But these caramels are the epitome of my baking successes. They turned out incredibly soft, perfectly chewy, and plus, who doesn't like caramel that tastes like boozy coffee?! I may or may not have even dropped a couple of these bad boys in my morning coffee and the melted caramel at the bottom of my cup was enough to make me forget that I was up before 6 am on a Saturday. You could make these non-alcoholic by using heavy cream instead of Bailey's, but where's the fun in that?

Spiked Coffee Caramels

  • 1/4 cup brewed black coffee
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup Bailey's Irish Cream
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 5 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. finely ground sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Line an 8x8-inch baking dish with parchment paper and then lightly coat with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

In a deep saucepan, combine the coffee, sugar, and corn syrup. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Allow the mixture to bubble greatly and the sugar to completely dissolve, swirling the pot occasionally. 

Meanwhile, heat the Bailey's, heavy cream, butter, and salt over medium heat, bringing the mixture to a slight simmer. Once the butter is melted, remove from the heat and set aside. 

Once the coffee/sugar mixture is fragrant and turns a deep golden brown, turn off the heat and slowly pour the Bailey's mixture in, careful for the sugar mixture will bubble violently. 

Add in the vanilla extract with a wooden spoon and stir to combine. Turn the heat back on to medium, and insert a candy thermometer into the saucepan. Bubble the mixture until the temperature reads 248 degrees F on the candy thermometer; stirring occasionally. 

Once the correct temperature has been reached, pour the caramel into your prepared baking dish. You do not need to scrape down the sides of the saucepan, for that sugar mixture will be overcooked.

Place into the fridge for 2 hours, then remove, cutting into 1-inch squares. Wrap each caramel individually with wax paper.

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