Chocolate-covered butterscotch caramels

This is the easiest, most melt-in-your-mouth butterscotch caramel that you will ever make, writes Abigail Johnson Dodge in her new book, Mini Treats and Hand-Held Sweets. It has a rich buttery flavor, supple texture, and a touch of crunch and is as easy as piling the ingredients into a large saucepan and cooking until a candy thermometer registers 250°F. All that’s needed is a little puffed rice cereal and a decadent chocolate topping.



Makes 48 pieces


For the Caramel Layer

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
+ 2 tablespoons, softened, for greasing the foil

1 1⁄3 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar

3⁄4 cup heavy cream

1⁄2 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup

1 1⁄2 cups puffed rice cereal

1 1⁄2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1⁄4 teaspoon table salt


For the Chocolate Ganache

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1 tablespoon vegetable oil



Make the Caramel-Puffed Rice Layer

1. Line an 8-inch-square baking pan (I like the straight-sided kind) with foil, leaving about a 1-inch overhang on two sides. Generously grease the bottom and sides of the foil with the 2 tablespoons of softened butter (cooking spray works, too).


2. Put the remaining butter, brown sugar, heavy cream, and golden syrup in a large heavy saucepan. Cook, without stirring, over low heat until the butter is melted, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Boil, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 250°F, about 5 minutes.


3. Slide the pan from the heat and add the puffed rice, vanilla, and salt. Be careful—the mixture will bubble up, and the steam is super hot. Using a heatproof spatula, stir, without scraping the bottom and sides, until blended. Pour the crispy caramel, without scraping the bottom or sides of the saucepan, into the prepared baking pan. Set aside to cool until warm to the touch, about 45 minutes.


Make the Ganache

Melt the chocolate and oil in a small heatproof bowl (I use the microwave, but an improvised double boiler works just fine). Whisk until well blended and smooth. Pour over the still-warm caramel. Using an offset spatula, spread the ganache evenly. Set aside to cool completely, about 4 hours.


Finish the Caramel

1. Use the foil “handles” to lift the entire caramel from the pan. Carefully peel or tear away the foil and discard; set the caramel, chocolate side up, on a cutting board.


2. Grease the blade of a long, sharp knife with butter or cooking spray and, using a ruler as a guide (or by eye), cut crosswise into 8 equal strips and then cut each strip into 6 pieces. Serve immediately or wrap in small pieces of waxed paper or cellophane (2 3⁄4-inch squares are the perfect size). Serve in mini cupcake wrappers, if you like.


Mini Treats and Hand-Held Sweets by Abigail Johnson Dodge is available now! Grab it here.

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by GL | 2/1/2016