I should be ashamed of myself…here it is, almost the end of September, and I haven’t posted a new pumpkin recipe yet! But these Pumpkin Caramels might just be worth the wait, y’all.
I’m pretty fascinated with the whole chemical process of making caramels. The ingredients are so simple, yet it’s almost magical how it transforms into something do delicious.
Salted Pumpkin Caramels
- 1/2 cup roasted and salted pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup corn syrup
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 Tablespoon butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon flaked sea salt
1. Line an 8 by 4 inch loaf pan with waxed paper or aluminum foil. Brush the sides, but not the bottom lightly with butter and sprinkle the pumpkin seeds (I couldn’t fin pumpkin seeds so I used sunflower seeds…pumpkin would have been even better) in the bottom.
2. Whisk the maple syrup, brown sugar, cream, corn syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and salt together in a heavy bottomed medium saucepan. Brush down the sides on the saucepan with water to remove every grain of sugar. Set the candy thermometer into the sugar. Cook the mixture over medium heat, without stirring, until the mixture reaches the firm ball stage, 248 degrees F, about 18 to 20 minutes. If you stir it, the caramels will be grainy.
3. Carefully stir in the pumpkin puree. Return to the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the caramel reaches the soft ball stage, 240 degrees F, about 15 minutes more. Watch it pretty carefully towards the end…it’s easy for the temperature to go shooting past 240 and then you have a pan of burned, not-delicious, hard to clean gunk. Remove your perfect caramels from the heat and stir in butter and vanilla.
4. Pour the caramel over the seeds in the prepared pan. Smooth to an even layer. Let cool for about ten minutes, then sprinkle with the flaked sea salt. Cool to room temperature.
5. When fully cooled peel from the waxed paper or foil and cut into 36 (1-inch) squares. You can wrap them in little squares of waxed paper, or layer them in an airtight container with waxed paper between the layers, for about a week. If they last that long.