It’s October! Not only is it my favorite time of the year, but it’s the best time to be in New York City. I can leave my windows wide open and feel the brisk breeze sweeping through my apartment, (which makes turning the oven on bearable!) I also just love the energy in the air amongst my fellow New Yorkers. It seems like with the new season everyone feels hopeful, excited, and fresh. (At least I do.)
Anyway- onto these delicious candies- after seeing the popular combination of pumpkin and caramel everywhere these days, I figured a pumpkin flavored caramel was something that needed to happen in my life. I wasn’t so sure if the candy-making process would work with the addition of actual pumpkin pureé, but I’m so glad that it did. These caramels are soft, full of spice and they just melt in your mouth. Plus- they have a bonus of toasted pumpkin seeds which add nutty crunch. I’m planning on making them as a part of my Holiday candy-making this year.
Though the process of making these was pretty easy, it was a bit time consuming. It requires a bit of patient hands-off monitoring- (which happens to be great for when you have to wash dishes, prep dinner, etc.) Don’t worry though- while you’re waiting for the caramels to cook- your kitchen will smell absolutely divine…
PS- I used these caramels as the cupcake toppers for some very festive cupcakes. Stay tuned for the recipe tomorrow!
Salted Pumpkin Caramels
Yield: 64 , 1-inch caramels
2/3 cup unsalted pepitas
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cups light corn syrup
1/3 cup good maple syrup
1/4 cup of water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in chunks
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon fleur de sel
Dry toast the pepitos in a skillet until they start to pop.
Line the bottom of an 8-in square glass pan with parchment. Butter the parchment and the sides of the pan. Evenly spread out the toasted pepitos on the bottom of the pan, on top of the parchment. Sprinkle with a little flaky sea salt.
In a saucepan, combine heavy cream, pumpkin puree and spices. Warm the mixture, but not to the point of boiling.
In a second medium-sized heavy bottomed pan, (with sides at least 4 inches high,) combine the sugar, both syrups and water. Stir until the sugars are melted, Then let it boil until it reaches 244 degrees (the soft ball point on a candy thermometer). Then very carefully add the cream and pumpkin mixture, and slowly bring this mixture to 240 degrees as registered on a on a candy thermometer.
This will take awhile -- like 30-60 minutes -- but don't leave the kitchen, keep an eye on it, and stir occasionally. When it hits 230 degrees start stirring frequently to keep it from burning.
As soon as it reaches the 240, pull it off the heat and stir in the butter and lemon juice. Stir vigorously so that butter is fully incorporated.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Let cool 10-15 minutes and sprinkle the salt over the top. Let the caramels fully set (at least 2 hours) before using a warm knife to cut them into 1-inch squares and wrapping them individually in waxed paper.
Yield: 64Serving Size: 1 grams Amount Per Serving:Unsaturated Fat: 0g
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