Sour Cream Caramels

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W and I stopped at a coffee shop in Lethbridge this past weekend, where they had a jar of homemade caramels on the counter. And because a large extra shot latte is not a good idea for 11 year olds, I let him have a caramel, which he carried in his pocket all day, intermittently unwrapping one end to take a nibble. “I wish we knew how to make these,” he sighed as it got to the end. At which point I told him that making caramels was easy, boosting my favourite parent points considerably.

When we got home, he suggested making caramels to bring to dinner across the street – a brilliant idea considering there was barely enough time to preheat the oven. We started measuring the butter and sugar before realizing there was no cream – but there was sour cream, and that might be delicious? So we spooned it into the pot and proceeded with great anticipation, and were not disappointed. (Phew.)

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These homemade caramels – they’re simple. Truly. You mix sugar, brown sugar, butter, sour cream and corn syrup (or Roger’s or Lyle’s Golden Syrup if you have it – they have far better flavour) in a pot and bring it to a boil, then wait. The only trick is knowing when to pull the pot off the stove, and it’s not a trick at all if you have a thermometer. If not, wait until the mixture looks more uniform and the bubbles slow down – about 15 minutes – and then drop a bit into a glass of really cold water. Feel it – if it’s the texture you want your caramels to be, you’re golden. I cooked these a tad longer than I intended, but all it meant was that they cut more cleanly, and are a slightly firmer chew. (And everyone thinks I meant for them to be that way.)

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Once cut, you can leave them as-is, or wrap each in a small square of parchment – easy enough to do while you’re watching John Oliver – which makes them a perfectly suitable party/teacher/just because I think you’re awesome gift, and acts as one extra step to deter you from devouring the entire batch, one by one.

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sour-cream-caramels-4

Sour Cream Caramels

  

September 26, 2016

Ingredients

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sour cream (not low fat or fat free)

1/2 cup corn syrup or Roger’s Golden Syrup

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt

Directions

1In a small pot or large saucepan, combine all ingredients except the vanilla and salt. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil.

2Continue cooking without stirring until a candy thermometer reaches 244-250°F, or a small amount of the caramel dribbled into ice water can be squished into a soft ball. Stir in the vanilla and salt and pour into a parchment-lined 8x8-inch pan. Chill until set, and cut into squares. Makes 3-4 dozen pieces.

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11 comments on “Sour Cream Caramels

  1. Jen Vasseur
    September 26, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    Does it give the caramels a slightly tangy flavour? I love making caramels, black licorice are my best.

    • Julie
      September 27, 2016 at 1:10 pm

      Not particularly – sorry, should have mentioned that! They’re just really great caramels, and perhaps more balanced – not as one-dimensional – due to the slight tang of the sour cream.

  2. Meaghan
    September 27, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    Yum! These look so good. Sometimes I find an escaped container of sour cream at the back of the fridge. This would be an excellent way to use it up. Thanks!

  3. Sue D
    September 27, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    I fully expect my life to better from now on, thanks Julie!

  4. Jen
    December 8, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    Just saw a small box of homemade caramels at a tea shop in Calgary for $10 and thought- Julie has a recipe for those. My friends and family will thank you as this is what they will be now getting at Christmas. Thanks!

    • Julie
      December 14, 2016 at 1:32 pm

      So glad to hear it!!

  5. Sherri
    December 15, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    Hi!
    I was just wondering if these caramels are soft and chewy or hard and you get suck on them? Either way is good, just needing to know what to expect.

    Thanks!
    Sherri

    • Susi
      December 24, 2016 at 12:08 pm

      If you like them soft, just remove from the heat sooner. The longer they cook, the stiffer the caramel becomes.

  6. Fen Eatough
    December 20, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    I just made these using lactose-free butter and lactose-free sour cream… and they turned out perfectly! I think I’ve got a new favorite recipe!

  7. Deb
    November 19, 2018 at 10:02 am

    Hello Julie, these look perfect for my nephews ( who’s-away at University) care package. How would you store them and would they be good for a couple of weeks? Thanks!

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