1. Food

Rosemary Caramels

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Rosemary Caramels
(c) 2012 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Rosemary Caramels are a sweet way to enjoy the taste of fresh rosemary! This herb lends a delicate background note to these sweet, chewy caramels. These candies also feature the flavors of vanilla, oranges, and pistachios, which help balance the rosemary and ensure it's not too overpowering.

Yield: 1 8x8 pan

Ingredients:

  • 1 5-inch sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) butter
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract (can substitute zest from one orange)
  • 1/2 cup toasted, salted pistachios

Preparation:

1. Line an 8x8 pan with aluminum foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a small saucepan, place the rosemary, the heavy cream, and 2 ounces of the butter. Place the pan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a low boil. Remove the pan from the heat, cover it with a tight-fitting lid, and let it sit for 45 minutes to infuse the flavors.

3. After 45 minutes, combine the corn syrup and the sugar in a 4-quart saucepan and place the pan over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil. Cover the pan with a lid and let it boil for 4 minutes, so the condensation will wash the sugar crystals from the side of the pan.

4. Remove the lid and insert a candy thermometer. Continue to cook the sugar, without stirring, until it reaches 320° Fahrenheit (160°C) on the candy thermometer. Once at 320°F, carefully pour the warm cream through a strainer into the hot sugar syrup, straining out the rosemary sprig. The mixture will bubble and splatter a great deal, and the temperature will drop.

5. Cook the caramel, stirring frequently, until it reaches 250°F. This will give you a soft, chewy caramel. If you prefer firmer caramels, cook the candy to 255°F.

6. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining 2 ounces of butter, the salt, the vanilla extract, and the orange extract (or orange zest, if you're using that instead). Stir in the pistachios. Pour the caramel into the prepared pan.

7. Let it set at room temperature until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight. Once set, remove the candy from the pan and peel off the foil from the back. Use a large sharp knife to cut the caramels into small squares. Wrap each individual caramel in waxed paper to prevent them from sticking together or losing their shape. Store Rosemary Caramels in an airtight container at room temperature for two weeks, or in the refrigerator for up to a month.

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