Skip to main content

These Homemade Salted Bourbon Caramels are the Perfect Holiday Gift

We never truly tire of receiving bottles of booze when friends come over for a dinner or party. We don’t get sick of giving them, either. But as the holidays approach and our calendars fill with more festive gatherings, we’re trying to think of fun, creative ways to say thank you for a night of revelry in someone’s home. And really, nothing says you care like a handmade gift, especially one that is edible and delicious.

Natasha Breen/Getty Images

Enter the salted bourbon caramel. Chef Donald Wressell of the Guittard Chocolate Company created this recipe for The Manual, just in time for holiday gift-giving season. These little morsels are simply irresistible, thanks to the addition of bourbon and flaky sea salt that adds a sweet-savory flavor punch. These are perfect for serving at your next holiday soiree, and they make a great gift for even the most discerning party host. Give them to mom, your boss, your kid’s school teacher, or even the mailman to bring some festive cheer. Just try not to eat them all yourself (trust us, it will be difficult).

When it comes to the bourbon to use, you have some options as well. High rye bourbons will impart spicy notes while wheated bourbons will contribute to a softer bourbon flavor. Finally, with a bourbon that is heavy on the barley, you’ll find toffee and cereal notes. All of these will change the flavor profile of the final product slightly (allowing you more room to experiment as well). If you need some options, check out this list of affordable whiskies.

(Note: 10 grams is equal to around .33 ounces.)

Arx0nt/Getty Images

Salted Bourbon Caramels

Ingredients:

  • 35 g water
  • 150 g bourbon, divided
  • 225 g sugar
  • 33 g corn syrup
  • 135 g unsalted butter
  • 215 g heavy cream
  • 1.5 g sea salt (such as Jacobsen Salt Co.’s Flake Salt)

Method:

  1. Combine water, 60 grams of bourbon, sugar, and glucose in a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring to a simmer on high heat until color appears, and continue cooking on medium-low heat to a deep amber caramel. Stir carefully as color deepens to ensure even cooking from middle to center of pot.
  3. Add butter when amber color is reached, stir in until fully emulsified.
  4. Add pre-warmed cream slowly to the pot while stirring with a long-handled whisk. Continue cooking on high while stirring continuously until 120 degrees Celsius is reached.
  5. Add remaining bourbon very slowly while stirring, followed by the salt. Return to 120 degrees Celcius (248 degrees Fahrenheit).
  6. Remove from heat and hand blend until smooth.
  7. Pour into an 8-inch-by-8-inch pan that has been greased lightly, lined with parchment, and then greased lightly again.
  8. Allow to cool for several hours or overnight before unmolding and cutting into squares to wrap in cellophane.
  9. For gifting, place a chocolate bar, such as the Guittard Chocolate 72 percent Quetzacoatl Bar, in a small paper or cellophane bag and fill around the bottom with the individually wrapped caramels. Tie off with a bow or a piece of twine for a simple present.

Editors' Recommendations

Topics
Amanda Gabriele
Amanda Gabriele is a food and travel writer at The Manual and the former senior editor at Supercall. She can’t live without…
Black Tot rum shares details of its new 2024 release
black tot rum 2024 1

Black Tot Rum, a brand based in London, has announced the details of its latest limited release -- a Master Blender's Reserve for 2024. The annual release uses the same blend for its base, but each year different additions are blended in to create a unique flavor experience.

“For this new release, we wanted to focus on the warmth and fruit of rums from Barbados, which has given us a foundation of juicy pineapple, lime and sweet melon,” said master blender Oliver Chilton.

Read more
Which state makes the best bourbon – Kentucky or Tennessee?
heavens door bourbon hd  tn ky back to

The great American tradition of bourbon is often regarded as originating from Kentucky, though it is made in other states across the country as well. Tennessee in particular has a reputation as a bourbon power house, with its grain production and limestone water. Now, the Heaven's Door spirit brand is stirring up a fun debate over which state produces the best bourbon, by creating a pair of bourbons -- one from each state.

"We wanted to fan the flames of this old debate between Kentucky and Tennessee bourbon and showcase our outstanding expressions of both styles," said Alex Moore, Master Blender and COO of Heaven's Door Spirits. "We're excited to hear what consumers think and how they experience these two classic bourbons."

Read more
Ramsbury Distillery debuts a lemon balm gin
ramsbury distillery lemon balm gin y4dfme5q scaled jpeg1 ezgif com webp to jpg converter

A new gin is available for summer, as the Ramsbury Distillery out the the UK is creating a lemon balm-flavored spirit. The London Dry style of gin is traditionally crisp in flavor with prominent citrus peel notes, so the addition of lemon balm adds a warmer citrus note to the spirit, along with 12 other classic botanicals used in Ramsbury Distillery.

"Crafted with wheat grown on our farm, this gin is a true testament to our dedication to quality and flavor," Ramsbury Distillery writes. "Ben, our distillery manager, handpicked fresh lemon balm leaves from our garden and masterfully distilled them with our signature juniper-forward botanicals. The result is a vibrant, refreshing, and perfectly balanced London Dry Lemon Gin. Indulge in the taste of summer with every sip."

Read more