this was one of those “i need to get that entire batch into my mouth right now” recipes. i can’t really describe how good these caramels were. just imagine the creamiest, richest, smoothest caramel candies you’ve ever had, and then add the subtle floral spiciness of lavender. the lavender flavor sort of comes through as an aftertaste, and it’s just perfect after the intense sweetness of the caramel. honestly, i don’t know what else to say about these. eat the entire batch yourself, or give them to people as gifts. either way, they are just perfect.
smooth, creamy, chewy caramel candies with a subtle lavender flavor.
- 2 tablespoons dried lavender
- 1¼ cups heavy cream
- ½ cup honey
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- line an 8x8 inch baking pan with parchment paper so that the paper goes up the sides of the pan (use two crisscrossed pieces of paper if necessary) and set it aside.
- in a small saucepan, stir together the lavender and heavy cream. bring the pot to a boil over medium-low heat, then remove it from the heat and cover it. let the pot sit for at least 45 minutes for the cream to become infused with lavender flavor.
- once the cream has infused, put the honey and sugar in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. let the mixture cook, swirling the pan around (not stirring!) occasionally, until the sugar is completely melted and the mixture is golden.
- while the sugar is cooking, strain the lavender out from the cream and return the cream to the small saucepan (once the lavender is strained out, you should have 1 cup of cream). add the butter and salt and return the pan to medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the butter has melted and the salt has dissolved.
- when the sugar mixture is ready, remove it from the heat and slowly stir in the cream mixture. be careful - it will bubble up pretty vigorously. stir in the vanilla.
- put the pan back on the stove over medium-low heat and attach a candy thermometer to the side. let the caramel cook until it reaches 252 degrees F (this took me about 20 minutes, but watch it carefully - getting the right temperature is important).
- pour the caramel into the prepared baking pan and put it in the fridge to cool. once the caramel has cooled (this should take 1-2 hours), cut it into pieces.
- wrap each piece of caramel in wax paper - this is what allows the candies to keep their shape!