Prepackaged caramels are a great alternative to making your own caramels to use in many baking and candy recipes. However, unwrapping individual caramel candies can be a painstaking and time-intensive project. Kraft Premium Caramel Bits solves this problem by selling caramel “bits” (similar in shape to chocolate chips) unwrapped in an 11-ounce bag. The makers suggest using Caramel Bits in all baking and candy recipes that call for regular soft caramels. I bought a package and tested them by making caramel apples, following the basic recipe on the back of the package.
Pros of Caramel Bits
- The Bits are very convenient. Unwrapping caramels isn’t difficult, but it is tedious and time-consuming work. The unwrapped Caramel Bits made it much faster to prepare caramel apples.
- Depending on what type of caramels you usually buy, the Bits can be cheaper. They typically retail in grocery stores for $2.50 for an 11-ounce bag, which can be cheaper than some brands of individually-wrapped creamy caramels. Also, I have seen the Bits for sale in my local 99-cent store.
- It was easy to make caramel apples using the provided recipe. All I had to do was add water and microwave the caramel. As prepared, the caramel had a good texture: it stayed soft enough to easily bite and chew, but it wasn’t too liquidy and didn’t drip down off the apple.
- Caramel Bits can easily be used in baking cookies and brownies. The size of the Bits is more conducive to baking than large caramels, which would have to be chopped before they could be used.
- The package of Caramel Bits includes 5 sticks to use for making caramel apples.
Cons of Caramel Bits
- The taste of the Caramel Bits wasn’t great. On their own they had hardly any taste at all, aside from a slightly stale sweetness and a waxy texture. When prepared as caramel apple, the Bits improved slightly, but the taste was still virtually nonexistent. Good caramels taste like cream, butter, and cooked sugar. These caramels tasted like plain sugar, and like they had been sitting on the shelf too long.
- When used to make caramel apples, the caramel did not go on as smoothly as other caramels. It was easy to apply, but the resulting caramel layer had some unsightly bumps and air bubbles that developed as the caramel set.
- They don’t seem to be widely available in my area. Although I’ve seen them at a few stores, they’re definitely not as common as individually wrapped caramels.
- Each bag is supposed to make five caramel apples. I used medium-sized apples and had enough caramel to cover three apples fully, and a fourth partially. For large apples, I would estimate that you could only cover about two apples fully in caramel.
The Bottom Line
Kraft Premium Caramel Bits offer a fast, convenient alternative to traditional caramel candies that need to be unwrapped before use. When used to make caramel apples, they are easy to prepare and the final product has a nice texture. I found the Bits to be lacking in flavor, and thought that the look of the finished caramels apples was a little rougher than when I have used other caramels in the past. At around $2.50 for an 11-ounce bag, these could be a good buy if you need to use a large volume of caramel in a recipe and value convenience over gourmet taste.