So this weekend, I was hit with an intense desire for warm weather, the kind of gorgeous weather where you can frolic through fields of lavender and pretend you’re Julie Andrews. But it’s still January and pretty gross out, so I made these lavender caramels, which are pretty much the next best thing.
I swear I could hear a chorus of nuns singing when I ate one of these. But those might’ve just been my taste buds.
Makes roughly 100
- 3 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 3 tbsp dried lavender buds
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 3 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Grease a 9×13 baking dish with butter or cooking spray and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, combine heavy cream and lavender over medium heat and cook to a boil, stirring occasionally. Let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove from heat and strain. Throw away lavender buds and transfer lavender-infused cream to a large (at least 6 qt) pot.
- Combine cream, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt and cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally.
- Clip a candy thermometer to the edge and pop a lid over the top. Cook over medium-high heat until the thermometer registers 245F, the firm ball stage. Do not stir.
- Once mixture reaches 245F, pour in vanilla and stir with a spatula. Pour mixture into baking dish and let cool until firm – minimum of 4 hours.
- Lift caramel out of baking dish (should remain in one smooth sheet) and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into pieces with sharp knife.
- Wrap with wax paper and store at room temperature.
Caramels are one of my absolute favorite candies to make. They’re so easy and such a crowd pleaser. Lavender makes these a little bit fancier. I feel like I should stick my pinky out when I eat them.
If you think you don’t like lavender in food, think again. The lavender is really subtle, but noticeable – it smells fragrant, but doesn’t taste like you’re eating potpourri. I converted one of my coworkers with these babies, so give them a try, you might be surprised.