Pinter-Mess: Apple Cider Caramels

I love apple cider. I love caramels. So why not try a recipe that combines the two?

I had really high hopes for these apple cider caramels. I attempted making them a few days before my Christmas party last year, to serve to my guests. Let’s just say it’s a good thing I made so many other treats (like Krispy Buckeyes and Chocolate-Dipped Hazelnut Shortbread) that my guests didn’t notice they were missing.

I’m still really bummed that this recipe ended up in the Pinter-Mess category. I was really meticulous about following the directions and even bought a candy thermometer to make these!

Maybe someone out there can tell me what I did wrong…

The first step is to reduce 2 cups of high-quality apple cider by boiling for about 20 minutes.

And remember, a watched pot never boils.

In a small bowl, combine the reduced cider with 2/3 cup of heavy cream, one teaspoon of cinnamon, and a pinch each of nutmeg and allspice. Set that aside, and on a saucepan, combine 1/3 of heavy cream, plus enough water to fill a measuring cup to the 1/2 cup line. To the saucepan, add 1/3 cup light corn syrup and 1 1/2 cup sugar, and dissolve the sugar over low heat. Then, simmer until the candy thermometer reads 234 degrees.

When you get to 234, remove from heat and slowly whisk in the cream mixture. Then, add 1/2 cup cubed butter and stir to incorporate all ingredients. Then, heat again until the thermometer reads 248 degrees.

While it’s heating again, prepare an 8 inch square pan by lining with parchment paper and grease with vegetable oil. Pour and cool in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

At this point, you’re supposed to be able to cut into pieces and serve. Yeah right!

My caramels were completely stuck to the paper. And I greased really, really well! I’m not talking kind-of-stuck either. The caramel was like, fused to the paper to the point where it was only coming off in teensy shreds.

What really stinks is that I used a fork to dig into the caramel’s top layer so I could try some, and it was delicious. Just like a caramel apple. YUM! But there was no way to eat it because of it being stuck to the paper. It was such a bummer to throw it all away after all the work I put into it and the fact that the flavor was so yummy.

So any suggestions on how to actually make this recipe work? Anyone out there try it and have a similar bad experience or a better experience?

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Allison is one of the co-founders here at The PinterTest Kitchen. She also works as a content marketing consultant and freelance writer - find out more at

2 thoughts on “Pinter-Mess: Apple Cider Caramels

  1. Oh man! That sucks that it all got stuck to the paper. I hate when stuff like that happens, especially when the flavor was so good. I hope someone can figure it out so they are actually edible. I’d love to try it if you find out how to make it not stick!

    Thanks for linking up to The Pinspiration Project 🙂

  2. So I’ve made these, and they’ve turned out deliciously. The secret is . . .DON’T use parchment paper — just butter the pan VERY well. The paper will (like you said) stick to the caramels. The well buttered pan and finished caramels will not stick at all.

    I use wax paper to wrap the caramels after they’ve set, which won’t stick, but parchment paper, even if greased, is stick-city.

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