Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Great gift idea ~ Orange Cappaccino Caramels


I've made these several times and I'll admit wrapping each one afterwards can be time consuming, but they are SO worth it.  I do want to point out--these are NOT hard caramels, but softer.  They're unique and make excellent Christmas gifts, but I also think caramel is appropriate for all of Fall. 

Orange Cappaccino Caramels

1 C butter
1 (16 oz.) pkg. (2 1/4 C) packed brown sugar
1 (14 oz.) can (1 1/4 C) sweetened condensed sugar
1 C light corn syrup
3 T instant coffee crystals
1/2 to 1 tsp. finely shredded orange peel
1 C chopped walnuts
1 tsp. vanilla

In a heavy 3-qt. saucepan, melt butter over low heat.  Stir in brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk, corn syrup, coffee crystals and orange peel.  Carefully clip candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan. 

Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, till thermometer registers 248 degrees, which is firm-ball stage.  Mixture should boil at a moderate, steady rate over the entire surgace.  Reaching firm-ball stage should take 15-20 minutes.

Remove saucepan from heat; remove candy thermometer from saucepan.  Immediately stir in walnuts and vanilla.  Quickly pour the caramel mixture into a foil-lined and butterred 8 x 8 x 2-inch baking pan. 

When caramel is firm, use foil to lift it out of pan.  Use a buttered knife to cut candy into 3/4 to 1-inch squares.  Here's the fun part.....Wrap each piece in clear plastic wrap.  Or just pop 'em in your mouth, thus eliminating the packaging part.  LOL! 

Makes about 100 pieces or approximately 3 pounds.

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