Pumpkin Spice Caramels
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 64
 
Soft and chewy caramels flavored with pumpkin and spice.
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup (3.5oz/104g) pepitas, toasted and lightly salted (optional)
  • ¾ cup (9oz/255g) light corn syrup
  • ¼ cup (3 oz/85g )honey
  • 2 cups (14 oz/397g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (4.75oz/135g) pumpkin puree (NOT pie filling)
  • ¾ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1½ cups (12 oz/340g) heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons (1.5oz/42g) unsalted butter, cut into chunks and softened
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Prepare an 8"x8" square metal pan by lining it with foil or parchment and greasing it. Sprinkle the pepitas evenly over the bottom of the pan.
  2. Combine the corn syrup, honey, sugar and salt in a heavy 3 Qt. saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, until the mixture simmers around the edges. Wash the sugar and syrup from the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush. Cover and cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Uncover the pan and wash down the sides once more.
  4. Attach a candy thermometer to the pan without letting it touch the bottom of the pan. Cook the sugar mixture uncovered, without stirring, until it reaches 305°F (152°C). It will be a dark amber color.
  5. While the sugar comes to temperature, heat the pumpkin puree, pie spice and cream in a small saucepan until it just begins to simmer. Turn off the heat and cover the pan to keep the mixture hot.
  6. When the sugar mixture is at 305°F (152°C), take the pan off of the heat and stir in the butter chunks. Slowly stir in the hot cream. It will bubble up violently so do this carefully.
  7. Put the pan back on the heat and adjust the heat so that the mixture boils energetically but not violently. Stir until smooth.
  8. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, to about 245°F (118°C). Then cook, stirring constantly, to 248°F (120°C) for soft chewy caramels.
  9. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour the caramel into the lined pan. Let set for 4-5 hours or until firm.
  10. Using the liner to lift the caramels out of the pan, invert the caramel onto a sheet of parchment paper. Peel off the liner.
  11. Cut the caramels with an oiled knife into 1-inch squares. Wrap each caramel individually in wax paper or cellophane.
Notes
Make sure your thermometer is accurate before you start making the caramels, even 2 degrees can make a difference in the outcome. Test your thermometer by boiling some water and making sure your thermometer reads 212F/100C.

If your caramels do turn out too soft or too hard, they can be fixed by recooking (assuming you didn't add nuts). If they are too soft, remelt them and cook them again to just 2 degrees higher than the last time. If they are too hard, remelt them with an additional ¼ cup of heavy cream and bring them back up to 248F/120C.
Recipe by BakeNQuilt at http://www.bakenquilt.com/2013/11/pumpkin-spice-caramels/