I’m not one for being the most healthy. I mean, I try my best to maintain a reasonably sensible diet but there are days where all I want to eat are potato chips and beer. And I do. Yet I’m stopped at the thought of making vegan caramels when I hear that corn syrup is the main ingredient. I’ve read enough to know that it’s not the best for your body however who am I to label it bad when I can down fistfuls of salty fried potatoes?
Regardless, I wanted to create a recipe that was sans corn syrup, partly because I wanted to prove that I could do it but also because I know that it’s a concern for a lot of others to stay away from the sticky, yet sweet stuff derived from corn. Just don’t be surprised if you see a candy recipe that has corn syrup over here–it’s bound to happen. So here you go: a vegan caramel recipe that doesn’t suck!
- 1 c. coconut milk (full or low fat)
- 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 1/3 c. Earth Balance vegan butter
- 1/4 c. pure maple syrup (or corn syrup if you like)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- juice of 1 lemon wedge
- 2 pinches of ground Himalayan salt (omit if you don't like the sweet/salty taste)
- 1. Throw all the ingredients into a small saucepan (except for the vanilla, lemon juice and salt) and melt on medium heat. Stir continuously. Once mixture begins to boil, add candy thermometer. Leave alone without stirring until it reaches between the soft and hard ball stages (250-275* F). Please note that it will take awhile for your caramels to get up to 250*. You can always remove them from the heat anywhere after 240* if you don't want to wait--they will be softer and melt a little quicker once it hits room temp but still taste just as good. Know that if you want to wait for 250+* it will spike quickly once it does go past 250* so don't go anywhere! You don't want it to burn.
- 2. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, lemon, and salt.
- 3. Pour onto parchment paper-lined 8×8 pan (or your choice, depending how thick you want your caramels to be).
- 4. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Chill in fridge 30-60 minutes or until set.
- 5. Cut into squares or rectangles with kitchen scissors or a knife. Wrap in precut wax paper and store in fridge.