These aren't your ordinary caramels! The surprising combination of bright and vibrant pomegranate and orange with the warmth of a blend of winter spices contrasts beautifully with the richness of these caramels. Finished with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt to make the flavors really pop, these caramels are guaranteed to disappear quickly! One taste-tester commented "These are delicious, and I don't even like caramel!" (I'm still trying to understand what "I don't even like caramel" means.)
These would also be delicious with the addition of toasted pecans or other nuts. Simply add toasted nuts to the prepared baking pan before pouring caramel over top. —kangarhubarb
Test Kitchen Notes
WHO: New member(!) kangarhubarb is a student who spends much of her time daydreaming about food.
WHAT: Citrus and pomegranate make this caramel pop, while spice plays the supporting role.
HOW: You'll have to watch your thermometer like a hawk, but vigilance is always key with candy, right?
WHY WE LOVE IT: These are winter in candy form. We find that they're perfect for eating (and eating) around the fireplace, alongside a mug of tea. And we can never say no to anything with a sprinkling of flaky sea salt. —The Editors
64 1-inch caramels
fresh squeezed orange juice (about 1 small orange)
Line an 8x8-inch square baking dish with parchment and set aside.
Combine pomegranate molasses and orange juice in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
Remove from heat, add sugars, corn syrup, butter, cream, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and pepper. Return to medium-high heat.
Continue cooking caramel, stirring frequently to prevent burning, until caramel registers 255 F on a candy thermometer (varies depending on humidity and other factors, but this took about 10 minutes for me). Quickly stir in vanilla extract.
Pour caramel into prepared parchment-lined baking dish, spreading to corners and edges with a spatula if needed.
Allow caramel to cool about 30 minutes before sprinkling sea salt over the top and gently pressing in as needed.
Allow to cool an additional 2 hours before cutting. Individual pieces can be wrapped in parchment or waxed paper.