Recipe by Carolyn Tessini
Serves: approximately 96 caramels
- 13/4 cups Scotch ale, divided
- 1 cup crushed pretzels, divided
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1. In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring 1½ cups ale to a boil. Boil about 12 minutes until reduced to ½ cup. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper so that excess paper hangs over the edges. Coat with nonstick spray and sprinkle ½ cup pretzels in the bottom of dish.
3. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine cream, butter and salt until the butter melts. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. In a large pot, combine sugar, corn syrup, the ale reduction and the remaining ¼ cup ale and stir until combined. Brush down the sides of the pot with a wet pastry brush and clip an instant-read thermometer to the side of the pot. Cook 8 to 12 minutes over medium-high heat, without stirring, until the syrup reaches 275°F.
5. Remove from the heat and, whisking constantly, slowly pour the cream mixture into the sugar syrup. Return to medium-high heat and cook 10 to 12 minutes, without stirring, until the caramel reaches 250°F. Remove from the heat and whisk in vanilla.
6. Pour the caramel into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the remaining pretzels and press them gently into the caramel. Let cool to room temperature then cover and cool until completely set, preferably overnight.
7. Using the parchment paper, transfer the caramel to a cutting board. With a very sharp knife coated with cooking spray, cut into bite-size pieces. Wrap each caramel in wax or parchment paper. Store in the refrigerator.