(c) 2009 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Coffee Caramels have a smooth, smoky coffee taste and a rich, chewy, buttery texture. The recipe as written produces a caramel with a noticeable but not overwhelming coffee taste--you can adjust the amount of instant coffee to suit your personal preferences, using anywhere from 1-3 tbsp instant coffee.
This recipe yields about 4 dozen small caramels.
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup honey
1.5 cups half and half (not fat-free)
2 tbsp instant coffee
1/4 cup (2 oz) butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Prepare an 8x8 pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil heavily with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Place the sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, honey, half and half, instant coffee, and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until the butter is melted and the sugars dissolve. Insert a candy thermometer.
3. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the thermometer reaches 250.
4. Once at 250, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour the caramel into the prepared pan. Allow it to set at room temperature for 3 hours, or until cool and firm.
5. Remove the caramel from the pan by using the foil as handles. Flip it upside down and peel the foil off the back. Spray a large sharp knife with nonstick spray, and cut the caramel into small squares or bars.
6. Wrap the caramels in squares of waxed paper to prevent them from sticking together. (Alternately, they can be dipped in chocolate.) Store wrapped Coffee Caramels in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.