12 Days of Holiday Gifts: Homemade Caramels

by in 12 Days of Holiday Gifts, Healthy Holidays, December 9, 2010
Ina's Salted Caramels
Ina Garten's Salted Caramels - Image Courtesy Food Network Magazine

We’re serving up fresh gift ideas every day from now until December 12. Catch up on the previous gifts here.

Sure, you can buy candy for friends and family this holiday season, but why not add a special homemade touch? We’ve got 3 winning caramel recipes and a video from Alton Brown to help walk you through the simple steps.

Homemade Caramels
Made with sugar, butter, corn syrup and cream, caramels aren’t health food, but it’s the holidays! And since a 1-ounce piece will only set you back about 110 calories, there’s no need to feel guilty.

Caramels aren’t difficult to make, they just require a little care and attention. The trickiest part? Getting the sugar to just the right color — watch carefully! Melt sugar with a little corn syrup until it’s golden brown, like the one pictured below. Swirl, don’t stir the sugar as it cooks.

Cook Sugar Mixture Until Golden Brown

See Ina Garten’s full caramel step-by-step for the whole process. Extracts, seasonings and spices can add flavors without extra calories. Here are a few recipes to try:

Recipes to Try:
Ina’s Fleur de Sel Caramels
Pumpkin Caramels
Alton’s Dark Salty Caramels (watch the how-to video)

Wrap caramels in parchment or wax paper and store in small tins or candy boxes. Pack along with cookies, gourmet coffee or tea, a bottle of dessert wine, or even some tart apples.

TELL US: What kind of candy will you make this year?

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

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Comments (10)

  1. […] Healthy Eats – Food Network Healthy Living Blog [expanded by feedex.net] Posted in Healthy Eating […]

  2. […] Continued here: 12 Days of Holiday Gifts: Homemade Caramels […]

  3. feastonthecheap says:

    Mmm, i can feel my fillings coming loose already!

  4. theveggie says:

    I'm making truffles and biscotti this year. I am really excited, the first batch of truffles were a hit and gone in maybe a half hour when i took them to a party recently. The biscotti is new for me. I am eager to see how it works. but its easier to send, b/c they last so long and they don't melt.

  5. Gene Howitt says:

    There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also.Keep working ,great job!

  6. Elisabet says:

    An alcohol-free homemade eggnog would be nice. Even if it has an extract in it, that extract, i.e., vanilla, has to be alcohol-free (completely alc-free) some relatives have meds they MUST take and alcohol–in any form–causes a bad reaction. Even beverages like alc-free beers are not completely free of alcohol.

  7. Mike Carmo says:

    The Slave of the Husband…

    Trying to get forward to studying extra from you afterward!……

  8. Thorn of Girl…

    Very good information is often observed on this internet web site….

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