When I had an abundance of coconut milk, I came up with the idea of using it to flavor homemade caramels. They’re always among the first of my Christmas candies to disappear.—Wendy Rusch, Trego, Wisconsin
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 cups flaked coconut, divided
- 1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped salted roasted almonds, divided
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 can (13.66 ounces) coconut milk
- 1-1/2 cups light corn syrup
- 3/4 cup butter, cubed
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Line a 13x9-in. pan with foil; grease foil with 1 tablespoon butter. Layer with 1 cup coconut and 3/4 cup almonds; set aside.
- In a Dutch oven, combine sugar, coconut milk, corn syrup, cubed butter and cream. Cook and stir over medium heat until a candy thermometer reads 238° (soft–ball stage), about 40 minutes.
- Using a pastry brush dipped in water, wash down the sides of the pan to eliminate sugar crystals. Cook and stir until thermometer reads 244° (firm-ball stage), about 5 minutes longer.
- Remove from heat; stir in 1 cup coconut, vanilla, ginger, salt and remaining almonds. Immediately pour into prepared pan (do not scrape saucepan). Sprinkle with remaining coconut. Let stand until firm, about 5 hours or overnight.
- Using foil, lift candy out of pan; remove foil. Using a buttered knife, cut caramel into 1-in. squares. Wrap individually in waxed paper; twist ends. Yield: 4 pounds.
Originally published as Coconut Caramels in Taste of Home Christmas Annual Annual 2014
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