Vanilla Bean Caramels

If I had to choose one accomplishment in the kitchen that I was most proud of this year, it would definitely be caramel. I remember being so terrified of it, for years, before I finally tried my hand at it. I’m so glad that I overcame that fear, because the results are SO rewarding.

It’s amazing what a few ingredients put together can transform into. It’s also amazing how 2 degrees can make or break said transformed item. Luckily, sugar and cream are relatively inexpensive – so a bum batch isn’t going to break the bank. Some people swear that they can eyeball color and temperatures, which you can, for some things like caramel sauce. However, a candy thermometer is very important for this recipe. If you don’t have one, go ahead and invest in one. I’m using mine more and more these days!

These caramels are rich and chewy, yet melt in your mouth at the same. The use of the vanilla beans adds beautiful flecks throughout the candy, and adds a tremendous depth of flavor. To make them extra special, sprinkle a little coarse sea salt on top before cutting. Truly amazing.