Last month, I wrote about the salted caramel cupcakes I made for a friend. It got me thinking about how much I really love salted caramel. So I came across a recipe for salted caramels (slightly different from the drizzled caramel I made), which seemed perfect as a hostess gift for my Thanksgiving host.
The recipe is Ina Garten's, and it's quite easy...but it does take some patience and careful measurement. I don't know why I've waited this long to try salted caramels myself, considering how much I love them and how many times I've gratefully received them as gifts. Some creative friends of mine recently gave me a batch with pickled cherry blossoms in them. The intense saltiness of the cherry blossoms, combined with the aesthetic beauty of a gorgeous bloom in the middle of the golden goodness, was definitely a treat. These same friends also recommended steeping earl grey tea or lavender in the cream, before adding it to the sugar, which infuses the caramels with a delicate, but wonderful flavor. But those experimentations will have to wait for another day.
Here are the beginnings of my recent batch, boiling away:
Once it had reached the right temperature, I poured it into a pan. And once that cooled, I formed it into thick logs, and sprinkled sea salt over it. The darker the color, the more intense the flavor:
Here are the pretty little morsels, wrapped in parchment paper:
And finally, here they are, nicely packaged as my hostess gift.