If you want to avoid using red food coloring, you can leave it out - the food coloring doesn't make it taste any more or less cinnamony. I use the
no-taste red food coloring gel. About the cinnamon flavor, I used that
I bought (has great reviews) on Amazon since I couldn't find it at my small
local grocery store. Using the amount in the recipe, the caramels are
pleasantly cinnamony without being spicy or hot. Add more cinnamon extract if
you want to amp up the cinnamon flavor. Also, if you are using cinnamon oil
instead of cinnamon extract, add with care - it's much, much more potent than
cinnamon extract. Wilton
FYI: My preferred brand of chocolate is Ghirardelli.
- 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided (meaning, you'll add half at the beginning and half later)
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon extract
- 1 teaspoon red food coloring gel (see note above)
1. Butter an 8X8-inch pan and set aside.
2. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the butter, salt, corn syrup, sugar and 1 cup of the cream. Over low heat, warm the ingredients until the butter is melted. Gently stirring during this part is ok to help combine the ingredients - just take care not to stir too vigorously and splash the liquid high up on the sides of the pan; also, take care to use low heat for this step. Too high of heat can cause the ingredients to melt unevenly and cause the butter to separate.
3. Once the ingredients are warmed and melted, increase the heat to medium-low (I keep my stovetop dial between a 3 and 4 the entire time; each stove is different so just keep an eye on the heat). Because these are no-stir caramels, too high of heat will burn the ingredients on the bottom. Moderate the heat of your stove so that the mixture maintains a simmer without burning. If you turn down the heat and the caramel stops simmering, simply increase the heat little by little until a good simmer is reached and then leave it there. You'll be good to go.
4. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 236 degrees F. Pour in the remaining 1 cup cream. Gently swirl the caramel once or twice with a wooden spoon or spatula to incorporate.
5. Again, bring the mixture to a simmer (don't adjust the heat to sharply - I keep mine set the same as before) and cook until the thermometer registers 245 degrees F.
6. Off the heat, carefully stir in the cinnamon and red food coloring.
7. Immediately pour the caramel into the prepared pan - don't scrape the sides, just tip the pan until no more drizzles out. Let the pan of caramels cool completely at room temperature before cutting into pieces.
8. To dip into chocolate, melt milk, semisweet or bittersweet chocolate in the microwave on 50% power for 1-minute increments or in a double boiler on the stove. Simply drop a caramel into the chocolate, lift out once full covered with a fork, tap on the side of the bowl to let the excess chocolate drip off and then carefully slide onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Once the chocolate has set, you can drizzle additional chocolate over the top for a nice pattern.