"No obstacles are insurmountable when God commands and we obey"
- - Heber J. Grant
December 16, 2014
Cinnamon Caramels (Chocolate Dipped If You Dare)
by Melanie Gunnell

If I told you that upon finding one of these cinnamon caramels that had somehow fallen behind the Nutella jar in my pantry (don’t ask why I was that close to the Nutella jar) two weeks after I had made them and without thinking I picked up that beautiful, and slightly wrinkly, caramel and ate it without a second thought and savored the gloriousness of its buttery, cinnamony, chewy deliciousness…well, if I told you that, would it adequately convince you of how insanely delicious these babies are or simply gross you out?

If it’s the latter, just pretend like you didn’t just read that first paragraph.


Seriously, I’ve never had anything quite like these. They are honestly the most delectable little caramels in all the land. You get the rich chewiness of the caramel with the slight heat of the cinnamon. It’s like a cinnamon bear but a hundred times better. Dip it in chocolate? A cinnamon bear on some serious steroids.

My friend Lisa told me about these last year in the comments of my black licorice caramels (also amazing) and I waited all year to try them so I didn’t ostracize myself and lose all my friends by doing something weird like making caramels in June. I’ve made up for the lack of cinnamon caramels in my life by making at least four batches in the last several weeks.


They are severely delicious on their own but you might as well try a few dipped in chocolate. It’s a simple process that will elicit fabulous results.

I’ve unloaded lots of pounds of cinnamon caramels on lots of people lately and they are getting lots of rave reviews. One bite and there’s an element of “hmmm, what is this pleasantly and weirdly sweet hot caramel thing I just bit into” followed by a “oh, yeah, baby, cinnamon and caramel; I’m hooked.” You know, those kinds of rave reviews.

If you are wanting a step-by-step tutorial for the caramel, follow the pictures in this recipe (it’s the same recipe except for omitting the vanilla and adding the cinnamon and red coloring at the end). I’m pretty sure if you’re looking for the holiday recipe to win you fame and fortune (or at the very least, lots of friends), it’s going to be these. Don’t wait like I did; make ‘em soon.


Cinnamon Caramels (Chocolate Dipped If You Dare)
Yield: Makes 3 or so dozen caramels, depending on the size you cut them

If you want to avoid using red food coloring, you can leave it out — the food coloring doesn't make it taste any more or less cinnamony. I use the Wilton no-taste red food coloring gel.

About the cinnamon flavor, I used this extract that I bought (has great reviews) on Amazon since I couldn't find it at my small local grocery store. Using the amount in the recipe, the caramels are pleasantly cinnamony without being spicy or hot.

Add more cinnamon extract if you want to amp up the cinnamon flavor. Also, if you are using cinnamon oil instead of cinnamon extract, add with care — it's much, much more potent than cinnamon extract.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup light corn syrup

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided (meaning, you'll add half at the beginning and half later)

  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon extract

  • 1 teaspoon red food coloring gel (see note above)

Directions

  1. Butter an 8X8-inch pan and set aside.

  2. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the butter, salt, corn syrup, sugar and 1 cup of the cream. Over low heat, warm the ingredients until the butter is melted. Gently stirring during this part is ok to help combine the ingredients. Just take care not to stir too vigorously and splash the liquid high up on the sides of the pan; also, take care to use low heat for this step. Too high of heat can cause the ingredients to melt unevenly and cause the butter to separate.

  3. Once the ingredients are warmed and melted, increase the heat to medium-low (I keep my stovetop dial between a 3 and 4 the entire time; each stove is different so just keep an eye on the heat). Because these are no-stir caramels, too high of heat will burn the ingredients on the bottom. Moderate the heat of your stove so that the mixture maintains a simmer without burning. If you turn down the heat and the caramel stops simmering, simply increase the heat little by little until a good simmer is reached and then leave it there. You'll be good to go.

  4. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 236 degrees F. Pour in the remaining 1 cup cream. Gently swirl the caramel once or twice with a wooden spoon or spatula to incorporate.

  5. Again, bring the mixture to a simmer (don't adjust the heat to sharply — I keep mine set the same as before) and cook until the thermometer registers 245 degrees F.

  6. Off the heat, carefully stir in the cinnamon and red food coloring.

  7. Immediately pour the caramel into the prepared pan — don't scrape the sides, just tip the pan until no more drizzles out. Let the pan of caramels cool completely at room temperature before cutting into pieces.

  8. To dip into chocolate, melt milk, semisweet or bittersweet chocolate in the microwave on 50% power for 1-minute increments or in a double boiler on the stove. Simply drop a caramel into the chocolate, lift out once full covered with a fork, tap on the side of the bowl to let the excess chocolate drip off and then carefully slide onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Once the chocolate has set, you can drizzle additional chocolate over the top for a nice pattern.

Recipe Source: adapted from my favorite foolproof, no-stir caramel recipe after my friend Lisa C. gave me the fabulous idea


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About Melanie Gunnell

Melanie Gunnell is a food-loving, chocolate-obsessed mom who has a desperate need to share her favorite tried-and-true recipes with the world. In a past life she graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in public health, but for the past ten years, stay-at-home motherhood has been her job along with blogging-from-home for the past five.

She resides in the brilliantly cold tundra of Northern Minnesota with her husband and their brood of five children: four boys and one tiny, bossy girl. Dark chocolate (particularly the act of shoving chocolate chips in her mouth whilst hiding in the pantry) is her coping skill of choice for both the never-ending winters and the never-ending wrestling matches in her front room.

http://www.melskitchencafe.com/

Calling(s): Primary pianist, CTR 6/7 Primary teacher, Activity Day leader

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