We are big fans of the fantastically spicy ginger chews from Ginger People (although... their oddly anthropomorphic ginger mascots? Cute or creepy?) Spicy ginger is comforting and warm, nice for winter colds, and so delicious with hot tea. When making our last batch of caramels we decided to try out our new ginger extract and make ginger candies ourselves. How did they turn out? For pictures and more, read on...
We love them. These are not nearly as spicy as Ginger People's hot stuff; instead they're warm and mild, perfect for Christmas candy giveaways. (We'll leave the hot candies for ourselves - people may not be expecting that in their Christmas boxes, yes?)
We added very fresh cinnamon too, so these have a sweet tang of ginger and the warmth of cinnamon rolled into dark caramelized sugar and cream. We could eat them all day.
Ginger Cinnamon Caramels
2 cups heavy cream
3 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks
3 teaspoons fresh-ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons ginger extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
Line a 9x13 baking sheet with heavy-duty foil and butter generously. Put the cream in a small saucepan and let it warm over low heat.
Put the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat and stir vigorously until the sugar melts and dissolves. Stop stirring and turn the heat to high. Cook until the sugar turns dark amber. Take off the heat.
Whisk in the butter. VERY CAREFULLY pour in the cream and whisk it. The caramel will bubble up furiously and steam. Whisk until well-combined and return to high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring, then turn the heat to medium-low. Clip on the candy thermometer and let the caramel cook until the temperature hits 250°F. Remove from the heat and quickly whisk in the ginger extract, cinnamon, and salt. Pour into the prepared pan and let it cool.
When it has cooled for a couple hours, put it in the fridge to harden overnight. The next day, cut into small pieces and wrap. These are fine at room temperature. I sprinkled them with fine sugar for an extra little crunch, which was very tasty too.