A few weeks ago I was standing in the kitchen thinking about what I wanted to bake. I didn't really want to make cupcakes or cookies but I wanted to make something sweet for us to snack on. I started searching on Pinterest for desserts and I came across a pin that linked to a bunch of candy recipes.
I like making candy because it's usually pretty easy to do and it doesn't require turning on the oven. It does require using a candy thermometer which not everyone is comfortable with. I used to have 3 different candy thermometers but 2 have broken so I am down to just one and it's huge. Not my favorite one to use but it does the trick.
I found a recipe for Chocolate Pecan Caramels but surprisingly I didn't have any pecans in my house. I usually keep almonds, pecans, and walnuts so that was surprising. I ended up just using walnuts and made Chocolate Walnut Caramels instead.
Basically you make caramel that is at the firm ball stage. This means it will hold it's shape but it isn't a hard piece of candy. It has a bit of chewiness to it which is perfect for caramels. The chocolate and walnuts go on the bottom and stick to the caramel once it is poured into the pan.
I had a hard time getting the mixture to the firm ball stage. Since that is only around 250 degrees it shouldn't take too long but it took forever. I think it had something to do with the sweetened condensed milk because I couldn't put the mixture on high or else it would scorch the milk and that makes for a gritty texture which no one wants.
So I think it took a good 20 minutes for it to come to temperature before I was able to pour the caramel. In the end it all worked out and was tasty. The caramel was chewy and the addition of the chocolate made it creamy and the nuts added a bit of crunch. It was really a great piece of candy that would be great to put out around the holidays or to give as a gift!
- 1 c. butter (2 sticks)
- 1 c. walnuts, chopped
- 1 c. chocolate chips
- 2 c. brown sugar
- 1 c. light corn sugar
- ¼ c. water
- 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 T. vanilla
- 1 t. sea salt
- Line a 13 x 9 inch pan with foil.
- Sprinkle the pan with pecans and chocolate chips. Set aside.
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add in the brown sugar, corn syrup, and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently.
- Once the mixture is at a boil stir in the milk.
- Cook, stirring constantly, until a candy thermometer reaches 248 degrees (firm ball stage).
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and sea salt.
- Pour into the prepared pan. Cool completely.
- When ready to cut pull the caramels out of the pan using the foil. Cut into squares.
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