This treat has got to be one of Ayoe’s favorite Christmas candies. It is chewy caramels, which reminds her of when she was a child back home at the farm. Her mom would make these every Christmas and the whole house would smell like cream caramels, a soft, sweet smelling sent hanging in the air. Every time Ayoe makes these, she gets a little sentimental and pauses to remember the good old days.
Here is how you make them:
5 dl (2 1/4 cups) whipping cream
450 g (1 1/3 cups) dark syrup (use the thick kind, not maple syrup and definitely not molasses or corn syrup)
100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
15 g butter
2 tablespoons vanilla sugar (you can make your own vanilla sugar by mixing granulated sugar with a cut open vanilla bean. Put it together in an airtight jar and let it sit for a couple of days)
Chopped nuts of any kind or peppermint oil (both are added at the end of the process).
Mix everything in a thick bottomed pot and bring to a boil at low heat. Let boil for several hours without the lid on. Stir occasionally so it doesn’t burn or boil over the top of the pot.
When the mixture passes the caramel test (see below), take it off the heat and with a spoon pour the mixture onto small pieces of parchment paper or candy wax paper. Roll the paper carefully around the caramel and twist the ends.
Let cool and store in an airtight jar.
If you so desire, you can add chopped nuts or a few drops of peppermint oil when the caramel mixture is ready to pour onto the paper. This will give you more variations with the same caramel base.
The caramel test:
Dip a spoon in the boiling mixture. If the mixture is very runny it is not ready yet, but if it is somewhat thick you put the spoon into a glass of cold water so the caramel can cool off and stiffens a bit. Take it out after a few seconds and with your fingers gently press the mixture together to a small ball. If it stays together as a small ball without running off the spoon or your fingers, it is ready.
Be very careful when working with caramel, it is burning hot and will give you burn marks if you get it on your fingers or if you put it in your mouth straight from the pot.
Do not do try this recipe with young children!