Trust me when I say, your Friday night needs these Salted Chocolate Covered Bourbon Cider Caramels.
Not sure about you guys, but it’s been a pretty busy week over here. It’s just that time of year I guess. I have to say I’m looking forward to a good Friday night-in, with a side of candles (I am seriously so obsessed with candles right now) and plenty of these chocolate covered caramels.
I know, I am so predictable, homebody forever and ever. In my defense, I spent most nights this week working away, and last Friday night I was on a four and a half hour plane ride back home from NYC. So tonight calls for a chill night. In the morning it’s back to work on a super fun holiday project (which really does not feel like work, I’m excited to shoot this). On Sunday and Monday I’ll be filming videos with Kai, then Tuesday it’s off to Cleveland. I have a quick interview on Wednesday with a local news station (it’s actually a joint interview with my little brother, Red…should be interesting), and then from there it’s off to my Nonnie’s kitchen I go, because I have thirty plus people to feed for Thanksgiving.
The flight to Cleveland alone is going to be rather, um? Eventful? My entire family, plus two girlfriends, a cousin, and Merle (the puppy…yes, my parents are flying with the dog), are all on the same flight. Meaning twelve Gerard’s on one plane. If you know my family then you know this is a recipe for disaster. Someone hide the mini bottles of booze…
Anyway, my point in all this rambling (sorry) is that tonight needs to involve these chocolate covered caramels. Even if your week wasn’t a hectic one (lucky), I can almost guarantee that most of you need a little chill time and a little chocolate before all the festivities that next week will bring.
Thanksgiving week is always a little hectic, so I’m taking tonight to just breath, make chocolate, and then eat chocolate while watching a Christmas movie and smelling my new Christmas candles…very, very smart idea.
Great! Now that we’ve got our plans for the night all settled, let me actually tell you about these caramels.
Normally, caramels are not my go-to when it comes to sweets, but any time I can home make them I’m singing a different tune. Homemade caramels, especially soft and chewy homemade caramels, are the best. Nothing can beat them.
Every holiday season I usually make some form of caramels to include in my cookie boxes that I send out to friends, family, and people I work with (I may have missed a few last year…). I always include cookies, chocolate covered pretzels, and caramels.
Even though I make caramels every year, I’ve oddly never told you guys about them…until now that is.
I made these bourbon caramels the other week and as soon as I tried one, I knew I had to share the recipe. These are perfection in every single bite. Sweet, buttery, gooey, soft caramel, covered in semi-sweet chocolate.
I know caramel can sometimes be intimidating, but guys I promise this recipe is simple and easy. Just boil your ingredients until they turn into caramel, pour the caramel into a baking dish, let it set, cut into squares, and cover in chocolate.
Simple. The only thing I have to say is that a candy thermometer is needed. I know it’s kind of a pain if you don’t often make homemade candies, but having a thermometer just makes making this recipe a million and one times easier. It takes out all the guess-work and leaves you with perfect, soft caramels every time.
If you don’t own a candy thermometer, I have this one and love it.
Unlike classic caramels, I decided to make these with apple cider. The cider adds a nice spiced flavor to the caramel that pairs so well with the bourbon and chocolate. It’s such a good flavor combo, and perfect for the holidays.
Once the caramels are covered in chocolate, I like to drizzle over just a little more chocolate and then sprinkle them with flaky sea salt. The drizzle of chocolate adds a little texture and the flaky sea salt is just really, really, delicious.
The best part? You can wrap these up to use as holiday gifts…just be sure to double the recipe…because you’ll need to save a batch for yourself.
Salted Chocolate Covered Bourbon Cider Caramels
Servings: 60 caramels
Calories Per Serving: 122 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup honey
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter, at room temperature
- 2-4 tablespoons bourbon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 16 ounces milk or semi-sweet or milk chocolate (don't use chocolate chips), melted and cooled
- flaky sea salt, for sprinkling
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- 1. Line a 9x13 inch baking dish with parchment paper.2. In a large saucepan, combine the apple cider, heavy cream, sugar, honey, and butter. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture reaches 244 degrees F. on a candy thermometer, about 12-14 minutes total. 3. Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the bourbon and vanilla. Return to high heat and bring the mixture back up to 244 degrees F. Remove from the heat and carefully pour the caramel into the prepared baking dish. Let the caramel set up at room temperature for 4 hours or up to 1 day. 4. Lift the caramel out of the pan and cut into 2 inch squares. Place each on a parchment lined baking sheet and transfer to the freezer and freeze 20 minutes. This makes coating in chocolate easier. 5. Melt the chocolate and let cool 10-20 minutes pior to dipping. 6. Dip each caramel in melted, cooled chocolate and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining caramels. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Place the caramels in the fridge to set for 20 minutes. Store in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.
The most perfect chocolate bite.
PS. I hope these have you excited for what’s to come this holiday season. I cannot wait!