I'd considered a couple projects I want to try out in the next few weeks including a mint and chocolate cookie. But, what I finally settled on was an adaptation of Ina Garten's Fleur de Sel Caramels.
These delicious buttery caramels are fairly easy to do as candy goes. If you have a little patience, these won't give you much trouble at all. I do have to admit to being a little tickled at some of the comments on the Food Network site where the original of this recipe was hosted. I'm never ceased to be amazed by people who scream bloody murder that the recipe is "COMPLETELY WRONG!!!!" (Seriously, that's the level of their rage.) And go on to explain they reached this insight because their sugar burned to a crisp. Folks, here's a hint - that's not the recipe's fault. That is all you. It is imperative that when baking or candy making that you not only measure exactly but that you also watch when you're cooking. If something says 12 minutes but your dish looks done at 10 minutes - take it out for pity's sake! If a recipe says that a sugar mixture should be heated to 200° and that should take about 10 minutes. Don't set a timer and start catching up on Facebook. Watch the pot and the thermometer and when it hits 200° take it off the heat - whether it's been 10 minutes or 5 minutes!
Anyway, this is not a difficult candy recipe and it was cool enough today that I didn't even have to refrigerate the candy before finishing it up. I left it on the counter on a cooling rack and it was ready to go in a couple hours.
The recipe calls for this to be rolled up into two logs then sliced into 8 pieces each for a total of 16 pieces. I found those pieces were a bit large for the small boxes I was going to use for these so sliced them smaller. I even found the not rolling would work just as well if you'd like small squares. It's really up to you if you want big ol' caramels or something a little daintier.
I was thrilled with the taste the butter shines through in the caramel flavor and the addition of the salt gives them a little extra boost. I used my Himalayan Pink Salt both in the recipe as sprinkled over the tops.
Happy New Year and thanks for sticking with us here at Sugar Pies through 2010!