Rum Spiked Soft Caramels
Serves: 80-90
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 TBSP unsalted butter
  • ¼ tsp. fine grain sea salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 TBSP dark spiced rum
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • Optional: fleur de sel, for sprinkling on top
  1. Line the bottom and sides of an 8x8 inch baking dish with parchment paper, so that the paper overhangs the edges of the pan slightly, and set aside.
  2. In a small pot, heat the cream, butter, and salt until the butter has melted. Remove from heat, and set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan (at least 4 quarts), stir together both of the sugars, water, and corn syrup. Place over medium-high heat, and cook, stirring gently, until the mixture starts to boil.
  4. Cover, and let cook for 3-4 minutes. Then remove the lid, and clip on your candy thermometer. Let the mixture boil, without stirring, swirling, or otherwise moving the pan, until the caramel reaches 360-365 degrees F.
  5. When the caramel reaches temp, turn off the heat, and give the pot a gentle swirl to break up any hot spots. Let the caramel cool for a minute or two, then carefully pour in the cream and butter -- stand back, here, as the mixture will bubble up violently -- and gently stir with a long-handled wooden spoon until the bubbling settles down and everything is well mixed.
  6. Place the pot back over medium heat, and let cook until it reaches 250-255 degrees F. Once it does, turn off the heat, remove the candy thermometer, and (carefully, once again) pour in the rum and vanilla. Stir well, then pour into the prepared pan.
  7. Let the caramel set for at least 4 hours, or overnight (or, to speed up the process, place in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or until set.) Optionally, sprinkle with a little extra fleur de sel.
  8. Lift the block of caramel from the pan by the overhanging parchment, and set on a cutting board. Using a pizza cutter, slice into strips, and then into squares or rectangles. (If the mixture is too soft or sticky to work with, place in the fridge or freezer for ten minutes before continuing. It helps to separate the pieces as you cut them so they don't stick to their neighbors, and keep them on the parchment so they're easy to pick up.) Wrap each piece in a square of cellophane or wax paper, and twist both ends to seal. And remember, it is totally okay to eat one for every one you wrap. I won't tell.
These caramels are soft and addictive, with just a hint of rum. If you want a stronger rum flavor, I suggest using rum extract or flavoring in place of the vanilla, rather than add more rum, as too much liquid will cause these to not set up. If you prefer your caramels alcohol free, you can omit the rum all together, just keep in mind that this will result in a firmer caramel. And of course, if you want to play with other flavors, you can always replace the rum with other liqueurs or extracts. Grand marnier caramels, here I come!
Recipe by Will Cook For Friends at