Home Made Butter Pecan Caramels
I love sweets. There. I said it.
I must have a sweet treat after dinner every night. But we try not to eat processed foods anymore.
What’s a girl to do?
That is why I began my quest to make my own sweets. By making my own all natural desserts and treats, I can satisfy my sweet tooth without compromising our goal of eating as few food additives as we can.
I’d been making a lot of chocolates and such lately, and was craving something different. So I set out on a Google Search to find something yummy for my tummy. You can find a recipe for almost everything on the ‘net today. I am not sure how the idea of Squirrel Nut Zippers came to me. For some reason, it did.
Squirrel Nut Zippers are individually wrapped, odd little caramel-type candies I used to see only at Halloween time.Back in the days when candy didn’t have to be ‘sealed for your protection’. Anyway… Lo and behold, someone had posted a home made version of them! [original recipe link at page bottom] I couldn’t wait to try it!
I love that this recipe is super easy. I love that it is made in one bowl and one pan. I did not love that it called for corn syrup, as I don’t use it. Instead, I substituted honey in one trial, and Brown Rice Syrup in another. Both worked fantastically. The original recipe also calls for walnuts. Neither of us likes walnuts, so I substituted pecans. WOW! It taste AWESOME! I made them twice in two months, so they must be good! Well, what are we waiting for?
Let’s Get Cooking!
Easy Butter Pecan Caramels
- 1/4 cup softened butter
- 1/2 cup white sugar (I use raw cane sugar)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup Honey, Maple, or Brown Rice Syrup (or light Karo syrup)
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tsp real vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans (or other nuts of choice)
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- Prep a 8″ X 8″ casserole dish with cooking spray on bottom and sides, and then line pan with parchment paper. DO NOT skip the parchment paper step!! You need it to remove the candy from the pan.
- Sprinkle nuts evenly on bottom of pan and set pan aside.
- In a large microwave safe glass or ceramic bowl (i used corningware) mix together butter, sugars, honey / syrup and condensed milk. The caramel will bubble up when cooking, so make sure your bowl is large enough.
- Cook mixture on High for 7 total minutes, STOP AND STIR at the 2, 4 and 6 minute marks.
- Remove the cooked mixture from the microwave. Add the vanilla and stir.
- Gently pour the hot caramel mixture into the lined pan, trying not to displace the nuts.
- Sprinkle sea salt evenly over the caramel. Set the on the counter to cool for 20 minutes. The original recipe says to fridge the mix at this point, but when I did, it got all moist & sticky the next day. We recommend you simply allow to cool on counter several hours, until firm and no longer sticky.
- Remove caramels from pan by gently lifting the ends of the parchment paper. If the caramel sticks, gently go around the edge of the pan with a spatula to loosen. They should then lift right out. lip & turn out on flat dish or cutting board. Remove parchment.
- Using a bench scraper or large chefs knife, cut into 1″ squares, or 1 x 1.5″ rectangles.
- Plate so they do not touch each other – they will stick. Or, wrap pieces in wax paper to store. Unwrap, eat, and enjoy!
Try them using maple syrup, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, coconut – experimenting is fun!
** Original Source Recipe HERE: Homemade Squirrel Nut Zippers