Sunday, December 11, 2011


The Xmas gift sweet-fest continues...




I think these caramels (really, they turn into toffee in the blink of an eye) are candy perfection. Just a little bit salty and very buttery. And they are so lovely to look at.


Man, they're an undertaking. The ingredients are simple and standard. The instructions are clear and concise. But for those who are unused to working with boiling sugar / candy thermometers and the great unknown of when soft ball starts morphing into hard ball, well, it can be a bit tense.

Then, assuming you make it through that hurdle (tip: pay attention to the thermometer readings, not your own sense that things look completely "wrong"), once it sets and it's cool, a gorgeous-looking slab in its baking dish, you have to cut it up into sweet little pieces. Lovelies, that is really hard on the hands! Takes about as long as making the caramel. Oh, and did I mention slicing up the wax paper into 4x4 inch pieces. It's more time-consuming and finicky than you would imagine. Finally, there's the actual wrapping, which would be fun if your fingers weren't already bruised from cutting the caramel pieces.

Guess this is why I don't make it every week. Cuz once you eat a piece you forget all the challenge and are transported to another time and place. It really is a labour of love.

Note: The recipe for these is online at Epicurious.


  1. They look incredible. I understand what you mean about labor-intensive; it's impossible to do a bad or shoddy or even sub-par job on a project like this, because your aesthetic sense is so precise.

    They're beautiful.

  2. Monkey: They really are all that!

    E: Merci! You give me a lot of credit. I think, in addition to the double-edged sword of my mad perfectionism, this kind of project needs precision in order to work. I've messed up with candy before and it's almost laughable to see the kooky results!

  3. These look delicious! And beautiful! Would you be able to cut them with a pizza cutter? Even better if you have one of those big rocking ones like they use at some pizza places.

  4. A labour of love indeed, and I'll bet they're both anticipated eagerly and appreciated fervently -- and perhaps secretively. I know if I got such a gift, I'd probably spirit them away to my office, hunkering down to savour them on my own rather than sharing them . . . I'm selfish like that!

  5. You are the only person I know who would take on a project like this!

  6. CGC: No, I think it would be too weak for that. It takes a lot of elbow grease. Almost like cutting through plastic (bad comparison but you see what I mean...)

    F: I would totally do the same thing! I am not a sharer when it comes to the treats. Once I've earmarked something for myself, you will never know it exists :-)

    Susan: I suppose that means you know much saner people! :-)

    R: They're pretty freakin' tasty. Are you coming to TO? If yes, I've earmarked some of these for you.

  7. I made these today largely because of this post. The pan is cooling right now and I think it turned out great! Not really looking forward to the wrapping, though.

  8. Kay: How do you like them in the end?? The cutting is a bitch, huh?

  9. You are such a jackie of many trades.

  10. E: If only I'd been born in 1956!