As I savored the last Chocolate Caramel from my freezer stash a couple weeks ago, I got to thinkin’…
How could I alter this wonderful recipe of my grandma’s, to create a sweet treat for the upcoming Valentine’s Day?
It took me a couple tries to get it just right, but I’m now deeply in love with these Cinnamon Valentine Caramels. Their vibrant red color fits this holiday beautifully, and I’m positive that their sweet and spicy flavor will leave my cinnamon connoisseur of a mom yearning for just one more.
If you’re looking to create something extra special this Valentine’s Day, I’m tellin’ you, these chewy, creamy cinnamon caramels are just that. Extra special.
Cinnamon Valentine Caramels
2 c. white sugar
1-1/2 c. light corn syrup
1-1/2 c. heavy cream
1 c. butter, plus 1/2 T. for buttering the pan
2 tsp. cinnamon oil (I used cinnamon oil from a Wilton candy flavorings multi pack, from Michael’s)
1-1/2 tsp. red food color gel (I used Wilton red “no taste” icing color, from Michael’s.)
(Cinnamon oil is very strong, but necessary for reaching a stronger cinnamon flavor. Be careful to not get it on your skin, as it can cause irritation. For a more subtle cinnamon flavor, substitute 3 tsp. cinnamon extract for the cinnamon oil. The extract can be found in the baking section of your grocery store.)
Butter a 9″ x 13″ pan and set aside.
Place all ingredients except the cinnamon oil and the red coloring in a heavy medium sauce pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring quite constantly, until it reaches 240°. This will take awhile, but don’t wander too far away, as the temperature seems to rise quickly right at the end. Take off heat and stir in the cinnamon oil and red coloring. Pour into your buttered pan. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate to set. Take out of refrigerator and let sit for about 10 minutes before cutting.
If you want to gift these caramels, simply cut them into your desired size and wrap in wax paper.
Please note: Using candy thermometers can be a tricky thing. Thermometers seem to vary, which can give you different results. When Mom makes these caramels, she cooks them to 236°, as her thermometer registers a bit differently than mine. If you want to calibrate your thermometer, to know exactly where yours sits, I found a great tutorial over at Our Best Bites.
Source: a farmgirl’s dabbles, an adaptation of my Grandma Klein’s Chocolate Caramels