Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we’ve got a whole new recipe that’s sure to sweeten things up from that usual big box of chocolates.

Homemade caramel is so much better tasting than store-bought candies, especially when you give it a hint of local flavor with your favorite Local Hive Honey. Making candy at home isn’t for everyone, but this recipe makes it simple to get started, even if you’re not an experienced chef. Just make sure to properly spray and cover your baking dishes so they don’t get sticky – and watch out for spilled sugar.

While you can use any Local Hive Honey for this recipe, we recommend a lighter varietal like Great Lakes or Nor Cal so you can tell when the heat causes it to change color.

 

Ingredients

  • Wax or parchment paper
  • Cooking spray
  • Thermometer
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup Local Hive Honey
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt

Directions

  1. Line a 9 x 13 baking dish with wax or parchment paper leaving lots of extra paper on two of the sides. Spray with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large pot, combine sugar and Local Hive Honey. Heat on medium until combined. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the mix has darkened to a deep caramel color. It should take about 5 minutes, but watch closely, as sugar burns easily.
  3. Reduce heat to low and whisk in knobs butter one chunk at a time. The mixture will bubble up quickly, so be careful when adding butter. Once all the butter is mixed in, whisk in the heavy cream.
  4. Bring the pot to a boil over medium heat until the mixture reaches about 244° on a thermometer. Once the mixture is boiling, it will reach 244° quickly. (To test if it’s at the right temperature, remove a bit of caramel with a wooden spoon and drop it in cold water. Grab the caramel with your fingers and make it into a ball. If the caramel is too loose to form into a ball, keep boiling.)
  5. Remove pot from heat and pour caramel into your lined pan. Refrigerate the pan for about 10 minutes, then sprinkle the caramels with sea salt. Let caramels harden at room temperature for about an hour until totally cooled.
  6. Gently pull on the paper to lift the caramel out of the baking sheet. Cut it into squares with a sharp knife and wrap each piece in parchment or wax paper. Enjoy!