Christmas Ale Beer Caramels are a soft, chewy treat made with Christmas Ale with hints of cinnamon and vanilla perfect for holidays and holiday gifts!
Don’t fear the candy thermometer.
It won’t bite. Seriously, it’s not as hard as it sounds! Santa’s coming and he may want something else to go along with his cookies and milk. Although, over here it’s more likely to be cookies and beer. Or cookies made with beer. Or caramels made with beer. You get the idea.
Anyway, the candy thermometer is your friend. You can pick up a regular glass one that attaches to the side of your pot or a digital instant read at your local cooking store and I’ve even seen them at the grocery.
Once you have that candy thermometer in your hot little hands, you will be armed and dangerous because you’ll realize how easy it is to have homemade soft and chewy caramels around and you won’t want to stop. No judgments here if you don’t.
Of course I put some of my home brewed Christmas Ale in mine, because that’s just the way I roll and I’m ready for some holiday cheer! Speaking of holiday cheer, we’re still celebrating the Sweetest Season Cookie Exchange all week long, so be sure to follow along on all social media with the hashtag #sweetestseasoncookies to get your party started and check out the Pinterest board too! There’s something for everyone on this list!
Cheers and Happy Holidays!
Christmas Ale Caramels
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons butter plus extra for preparing the dish
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup corn syrup
- 1/4 cup Christmas Ale
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with parchment paper leaving excess paper hanging over the side
Coat parchment with butter
Heat butter, cream, and salt in a saucepan on medium heat until butter is melted, remove from heat and set aside
In a large heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, and beer. Stir until all the sugar is moistened and a thick paste is formed.
Wipe down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to remove sugar crystals above the surface of the sugar mixture
Attach a candy thermometer to the side of pan according to product instructions
Do not stir the sugar after this point
Put the pot with sugar mixture over medium to medium high heat. Let the syrup come to a boil without stirring.
When the syrup reaches 250 degrees F, but before it reaches 325 degrees F turn off the heat.
Slowly pour the warm cream and butter mixture into the sugar syrup while whisking the sugar syrup gently
The sugar syrup will bubble up and triple in size.
When all the cream and butter mixture has been added, stop whisking
Return the pan to medium to medium-high heat. Let the mixture come to a boil without stirring. It will start as a soft buttery yellow ans then darken to a reddish-brown caramel. Remove from heat when it reaches 245 to 250 degrees F.
Quickly whisk in the vanilla
Pour caramel into the prepared pan, but do not scrape the bottom of the pan because there could be little burnt bits
Set the pan somewhere for at least 2 hours or overnight in order for the caramel to set
When set, turn caramel out onto a cutting board and cut with a sharp sturdy knife to desired shapes
Wrap with candy wrappers or pieces of parchment paper
Adapted from The Kitchn
- Do not use a pot that isn’t sturdy or big enough or the bottom could scorch and it will overflow when it bubbles up while adding the cream
- I used my own home brewed Christmas ale that has cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla, so I recommend using something similar or at least a beer that’s very vanilla forward
- If your a fan of salted caramels, you can always sprinkle a bit over the top right after you transfer it to the pan. You’ll want to do this before it sets or it won’t stick.
- I cut mine into pieces about 1 inch long and 1/2 inch thick. I just cut it into strips then cut each strip into 4 pieces. I think I ended up with about 60 pieces, but can’t be sure because we ate some of them before I remembered to count them.