Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cooking Up Holiday Spirit

This week's cookbook is Chocolate & Vanilla by Gale Gand with Lisa Weiss.

Vanilla Butter Caramels

(Makes 64 pieces)

Do-Ahead: These caramels keep well for 2 weeks stored at room temperature

You'll need: 8-inch square pan, preferably one with straight sides and square corners

Aluminum foil

Cellophane or wax paper

Ingredients: 5 cups sugar
1 cup water
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream

Line an 8 by 8-inch pan, preferably one with straight sides ans square corners, with aluminum foil and grease the foil well.

Put the sugar in a heavy medium saucepan. Slowly add the water by pouring it around the inside wall of the pan to avoid splashing any sugar crystals onto the sides of the saucepan. Let the water soak into the sugar completely.

Bring the water and sugar to a boil over high heat and continue cooking until the liquid is golden. Turn off the heat and, with a wooden spoon, carefully stir in the butter and then the vanilla and cream. Pour into the prepared pan and let cool until firmly set, anywhere from 1 to 2 hours.

Cut into 1-inch squares and wrap each one in decorative cellophane or wax paper.

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