March 22, 2008

Sugar High Fridays #41 -Vegan Caramels

This month's Sugar High Friday is all about sweet gifts. See all the entries at Habeas Brulee on Friday, March 28th.
These caramels are so good I'm seriously thinking about marketing them. There are a lot of dairy-free substitutes for ice cream, cream cheese, butter, and even whipped cream but I looked high and low and couldn't even find a good recipe for caramel candy. My husband was adamant that I find some way for Alex to taste caramel and have caramel apples. All of the recipes I could find used real cream, half and half or condensed milk and trying to substitute soy creamer just didn't cut it. Then I found a recipe that looked promising because it used a combination of dairy-free margarine and soymilk. After tweaking the directions a little I finally had my son's very first taste of caramel candy. He LOVED it! These caramels have quickly become his favorite treat. I think they can compare to any homemade caramel I've eaten.

Enjoy the recipe and make sure to share it with those in your life who either can't have dairy or choose not to. They are a truly great gift.

Vegan Caramels
Awesome homemade dairy-free caramel recipe! Good with nuts, topped with chocolate, or for dipping apples in. Cook it to a lower temperature for caramel ice cream topping. Thanks to "The Glad Cow Cookbook' for the original ingredient proportions.
Makes ~100 pieces of caramel
1 cup margarine*
2 cups sugar
2 cups soy milk
1 cup light corn syrup
1 t vanilla
*Optional: Add 1 tsp salt if using unsalted margarine
Grease and line with parchment a 8 inch x 8 inch baking pan.
Place all ingredients (except vanilla) in a large saucepan (4qt minimum capacity.)
Bring ingredients to a boil stirring often.
Cook over medium heat while stirring until candy reaches 245 degrees F.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour into lined baking pan.
Allow to cool completely. Snip into pieces using clean kitchen shears (or slice with a knife). Wrap individually with waxed or parchment paper. Makes ~100 pieces
Variation: Cook to 230 degrees F and add vanilla. Pour into a glass jar. Warm jar in a pan of hot water before pouring over ice cream or cake.
Vegan Caramels at Group Recipes