Ok, that was one of the scariest things I've ever done.
At some point in the last 2 and a half weeks, I decided that making homemade caramels for all my friends would be a great way to show them how much I love them, and save some money at the same time. I made the ginger snaps in my last post (and yes, I know that was longer than a week ago and I said I'd be posting more often, but hey, I AM still posting at this point: I'm bad at this) and part of that recipe was a honey-coconut sugar caramel. So of course I figured I could do it on a larger scale for christmas gifts.
This was a completely ridiculous endeavor. I really had no idea what I was trying to get into. I was looking for a creamy, chewy, stick to your teeth kind of caramel, and I didn't even know how to do that with regular sugar, and here I am attempting to do it with honey and coconut sugar.
I did more research for this than I've done for any other recipe I've tried. I hate research. I remembered the caramel recipe that went into the ginger snaps was more liquid-y, like a sauce, than like a chewy snack, plus it didn't include cooking temperatures. I did already know that sugar needs to be cooked to specific temperatures to get the end result that you want. That's where I wanted to start my research. Looking for the right temperature. Then I needed to figure out if you could even DO it with coconut palm sugar (coconut sugar and palm sugar are the same thing: I didn't know that until about an hour ago). And what about honey? How was this going to be possible??? Especially since half the point of this whole endeavor was to SAVE money, not spend a ton on experimenting with my overly fancy organic ingredients.
I found several recipes, and I can't remember which ones were the most helpful, but I wound up deciding to wing it. I mean, I knew you had to heat it, then add butter and cream, and then heat it again and then pour it into a pan lined with greased parchment paper. It couldn't be THAT hard, could it?
What I wound up with was a pan of really lovely honey flavored caramel sauce that I can't stop eating with a spoon. It was DELICIOUS, but not what I was looking for.
So I tried again tonight.
Tonight, I followed this method:
I found that video via a recipe on a blog called the Rising Spoon, which I found by searching for honey toffee rather than honey caramels. (Toffee might be the next project, waiting for this to get to the right temperature was stressful enough, plus I don't keep chocolate in the house, and you can't have toffee without chocolate.)
After trolling through the comments for a while, I spotted one by the blog's author stating the while she hadn't tried it, turbinado sugar should work. Theoretically anyway. Based on what other people have told her.
I had to seriously psych myself up for this one.
I jumped in feet first, making a double recipe. (I didn't want to have to make another batch: I have a lot of friends.) What can I say? I'm ambitious.
The first thing you want to do is watch the above video. Then watch it again. And just in case, watch it a third time. Seriously. I'm pretty sure I watched it about 5 times before attempting this. Follow her instructions while substituting the honey for the light corn syrup (ew!) and coconut sugar for the cane sugar.
I call these "Not Quite Paleo Caramels" because while they fall into the "Clean" category (unprocessed, no chemicals, etc.), they still have dairy, which is not paleo. I've seen recipes for caramels using almond butter, coconut milk, and various other replacements, but none using these particular ingredients together. Doesn't mean it doesn't exist, I just couldn't find it. So here:
Not Quite Paleo Caramels
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