Happy February 1st! Now we're even closer to the Super Bowl, Valentine's Day, and President's Day (a day off!). If you're looking for a sweet treat this month for parties or for your Valentine, you should try this recipe.
I've never ventured into making candy before, although I have been thinking about it for a few months. In preparation, I bought my first candy thermometer. This recipe, versions of which are common in Sweden, was really easy. The caramel turned out to be fairly soft and chewy, and the peppermint added a wonderful surprising flavor. I made these recently for my husband Chris' birthday party, and they were enjoyed.
Polkagriskola (Peppermint Caramels)
(Courtesy of Saveur, December 2009)
4 oz. hard peppermint candies
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 cup superfine sugar
6 T. golden syrup or dark corn syrup
3 T. honey
7 T. unsalted butter
Put peppermint candies into a plastic bag and crush them coarsely with the flat side of a meat mallet. Using a large sieve, sift candy pieces, discarding powder; set candy pieces aside.
Line the bottom of an 8"x8" baking pan with parchment paper; grease parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Heat cream, sugar, syrup, and honey in a 6"-diameter 2 qt. saucepan over medium heat; stir until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Bring to a boil and attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan; cook, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 250 degrees F, about 45 minutes. Remove pan from the heat and add butter. Using a wooden spoon, stir until smooth, about 3 minutes.
Pour sugar mixture onto prepared baking pan and sprinkle evenly with peppermint candy pieces, pressing them lightly into toffee with the back of the spatula. Let cool completely; cut into (roughly) 64 squares to serve.