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Bourbon Salted Caramels

When I saw this recipe in the December 2013 issue of Bon Appetite’s  magazine I instantly knew that I would be making these for two reasons: the first being bourbon is my weakness and the second being that I just bought an Emile Henry caramel pot in while I was France (trust me, I’ve been making a point of ensuring it was a practical purchase.  I mean, it was half-price and who can resist a deal that good?!).  My past experiences with caramel making have been… moderate successes… I had never actually used a candy thermometer (I’d recommend it!) and somehow I’ve only burnt 50% of the caramel I’ve attempted thus far!  As you can imagine, I was relatively paranoid I was going to burn these bourbon salted caramels so, I took care to put a LOT of tlc into them; I am talking constant stirring and doting over the pot of sugar and corn syrup tlc.  I’ve got to say, all that effort for these little packets of goodness was well worth the time.  My best advise to you if you’re going to take a stab at these is that being patient is worth it!

Bourbon Salted Caramels
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Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr
  1. 2 cups sugar
  2. 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  3. 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  4. 1/2 cup butter (cubed)
  5. 3 tablespoons bourbon
  6. 1 teaspoon (plus more for the top) bourbon vanilla sea salt (Sea to Sky Seasonings makes this, I got mine at Edible Canada on Granville Island)
  1. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a heavy bottomed pot (make sure it's a pot as when you add condensed milk and butter the caramel will boil), heat sugar and corn syrup over low-medium heat. Stir often and heat until the mixture becomes a dark amber color and has a nutty smell. Remove pot from heat and add in condensed milk and butter, whisk until smooth.
  3. Now is a good time to pop your thermometer into the mixture. Return pot to heat and whisk until your thermometer registers 116°C (240°F). Once your thermometer reaches 116°C, remove pot from heat.
  4. Whisk bourbon and 1 teaspoon of bourbon vanilla sea salt in well.
  5. Pour mixture onto lined baking pan, sprinkle with sea salt until sufficiently covered and let cool.
  6. Cut into bite sized pieces and wrap them in parchment paper if you desire. Alternatively, you could just cut them as you eat them.
  1. I high recommend using a candy thermometer rather than eyeballing it (unless you're really good at that)
Adapted from Bon Appetite December 2013
Adapted from Bon Appetite December 2013
Samantha Potter
  • December 8, 2013 - 12:27 am

    Sunny Shum - Love this and I’m going to attempt this, next week. These make great little hostess gifts. Just a few questions:

    1. Can I sub BOURBON with something else? I don’t drink a lot and would be a waste for me to just buy a bottle for this recipe.

    2. What size baking pan should I be using? How many pieces (approx) will this make?

    3. Candy thermometer – are there specific ones? Or can any old cooking thermometer do?

    Thanks so much!ReplyCancel

    • December 8, 2013 - 6:32 pm

      spotter - Hi Sunny,

      Thanks for the questions!

      1 – I’d imagine that you can leave the bourbon out entirely when you do this and not substitute it for anything. Because you need to mix in the bourbon so well the consistency before and after it has been added looks about the same. If you want to replace it with something, I would suggest trying vanilla. However, because the flavor can be so intense I would probably only add one tablespoon.

      2 – I chose to use a 9 inch x 13 inch baking sheet as I wanted a thinner caramels. Bon Appetite recommends using an 8 inch x 8 inch baking sheet. It really depends on how thick you like your caramels. Depending on how small or large you cut them (be prepared for a lot of cutting!) it will make in the range of 100-150 caramels.

      3 – Make sure its a candy thermometer but aside from that I believe any one will do – I got a relatively inexpensive one at Home Sense and I believe Target has inexpensive ones as well.

      I hope that helps. Let me know how they turn out!ReplyCancel

  • December 9, 2013 - 7:07 am

    Butternut Squash and Apple Galette » Samantha Potter - […] grated aged white cheddar 1 oz Whiskey (optional) 2 Tbsp olive oil A pinch of salt (like with the bourbon salted caramels, I used bourbon vanilla flavored sea salt) Fresh ground pepper to taste Freshly Chopped Summer […]ReplyCancel

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