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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pecan Maple Caramel

"Failure is the excuse to try again..." ~The Friday Night Knitting Club

back in september i won a Pay It Forward thing from one of my fave bloggers, Under Consideration. She sent me some lovely caramel squares that basically wrecked havoc on my braces but i could not resist them. So i had it in my head to make them as possible gifts for my sister Pam or even for an Operation Baking Gals soldier. the first time i tried making them, i failed. miserably. my candy thermometer got all foggy and i got all impatient. at first i thought maybe it was cus i used pancake syrup rather than real maple syrup but now i know it's cus i didn't get the mixture to the right temp. the first batch, they tasted good but they were too soft. and so one night i set out to try again and this time, i used a bigger pot, and i vowed to be more patient.

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Pecan Maple Caramel
from the Chocolate Gourmand

3 cups chopped raw pecans
1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
2 cups whipping cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Some Safflower oil.


Oil the foil lined baking dish (alternative: line dish with silpat).
Using safflower oil and a paper towel, generously oil a 9x13 baking dish lined with foil. Don't skimp! If using silpat, just make sure the silpat you are using is large enough so that caramel won't leak out. Try to push the silpat down along th edges to simlate lining pan with foil.

Chop the pecans into morsel sized chunks.
Using a chef's knife, chop the pecans on a cutting board until they are the size of chocolate morsels. You can use a food processor, but since you are only coarsely chopping the pecans it isn't necessary and produces pecan dust which you don't need and would have to sift out.

Combine sugars, corn and maple syrups, cream and butter and bring to boil.
Combine the sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, corn syrup, cream and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently until it comes to a boil. Wash down sides several times with water using a pastry brush.

Once boiling, increase heat to medium high and stir constantly until it reaches target temperature. With the heat increased to medium high, stir the mixture continuously until it reaches 242-243° F (116°) for dipping or else 246-248° F (117° C) for wrapping..

Remove from heat and add salt and vanilla. Then add pecans and stir.
After removing the caramel from heat, add the salt and vanilla and stir until blended. Add the pecans and give another stir to thoroughly mix.

Pour into oiled or silpat lined baking dish. Let sit overnight wrapped tightly.
Pour mixture into prepared baking pan. Cover well and let cool overnight. Once you are ready to dip or wrap, peel the foil off the caramel. This can be a major pain, particularly for gooier caramels (dipping), but I recently found that shoving a silpat sheet into a baking pan solves the problem. Oil a large plastic cutting board and place the caramel slab there. Slice into pieces and wrap or dip.

*** i used light brown sugar, it's what i had handy. i also did not use safflower oil, just regular veggie oil.

i knew that i had done it right the 2nd time around because the caramel hardened as it cooled. it took awhile for me to cut and wrap but i ended up with a lot. my roommate loved it, pam loved it, and my phamily did too when i brought some for turkey dinner. hopefully my soldier will too. i'll probably make this again for the holidays to have around the office.

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Today's soundtrack, David Cook, Always Be My Baby

it's my fave Mariah song but he does a great version of it.


8 comments:

  1. What a great idea and a way to think out of the box for Baking Gals. I still haven't decided what to send. Or registered (!!). Thanks for the reminder!

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  2. Yay, so glad this batch turned out! Aren't they the best?

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  3. They look great. Glad it worked out!

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  4. I just gained five pounds reading this and looking at the photos.

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  5. kirby --
    it is delish! i take tiny tiny bites and just one piece lasts me all morning.

    shannalee --
    thanks, i just figured the troops would like something other than cookies, altho i will be sending those along too.

    elizabeth --
    they are the best! just a few ingredients, some stirring and you end up with such a yummy treat.

    brian --
    thanks for posting your recipe, it's great.

    Chessa --
    you're hilarious. but the extra weight gain is so worth it! :)

    Kevin --
    thank you, they are great.

    ReplyDelete
  6. kirby --
    it is delish! i take tiny tiny bites and just one piece lasts me all morning.

    shannalee --
    thanks, i just figured the troops would like something other than cookies, altho i will be sending those along too.

    elizabeth --
    they are the best! just a few ingredients, some stirring and you end up with such a yummy treat.

    brian --
    thanks for posting your recipe, it's great.

    Chessa --
    you're hilarious. but the extra weight gain is so worth it! :)

    Kevin --
    thank you, they are great.

    ReplyDelete