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


The Apron Queen said...

This caramel dip would be perfect for my baked apples!

Stop by for a visit. I'll even save an apple for you! :D

Confessions of an Apron Queen:

maybelles mom said...

Wow, how wonderful--and I love the idea of Caramel Apples.

VeggieGirl said...

Ahh, how fabulous!! Thank you for letting me know about this post :0)

Kristi said...

Thank you so much! We just went dairy free with our son and he was really wanting caramel apples. This was a perfect solution... I did have to use dark corn syrup because I was out of light, but the taste and look was spot on. Delish!

Anonymous said...

I made these caramels last night and they were amazing! However, I did not use corn syrup, instead I used honey. And instead of soy milk I used 3/4 cup rice milk and 1/4 water (I made half a recipe). Afterwards I mixed in pomegrante syrup and as they cooled sprinkled with a little sea salt. Thank you for the good recipe!

damnitannie00 said...

I just made these caramels, they are almost completely cool :)

I followed the recipe exactly, and the are INCREDIBLE! These taste so much better than any store-bought caramel I have ever tried. I can't wait to share them with the non-vegans!

Shastina said...

I am so happy I found this! I can't wait to try this with my kids this weekend, Vegan Carmel apples here we come!!!

Anonymous said...

These were great!!! As I am lactose intolerant, it was great to have a caramel I could eat! They were very hard at 245 and then were hard to cut, but it could be that my candy thermometer was off. I would also recommend using a 9 x 13 pan so that it is not as thick, since they were hard to cut. Great hit with all my friends at school!

theravegan said...

I have been looking for a vegan caramel recipe for some time. This looks wonderful!! Thanks!!

FoodAllergyMom said...

My multi allery kid loves molasses and I want to make her some sort of molasses candy for Christmas. Do you have any idea if this recipe would work if I substituted molasses for half of the corn syrup? If not, do you have any suggestions for a molasses candy recipe that does not have eggs or dairy? Thanks!

Maggie said...

I have made them with molasses and they are awesome. Here is the recipe: Gingerbread Caramels.

anna said...

I've been vegan for over a year now. I enjoy all the great food I get to prepare, but find myself feeling a bit left out this time of the year when my friends are passing out great candies, cookies, and fudge. I was so happy to come across this recipe tonight. I made a half recipie in the microwave. I used a bowl about 8 times the volume of the initial liquid and stirred it and measured the temperature every two minutes. When it got to about 242degrees F, I did a water test and it was the proper consistency. I added about a half teaspoon of salt and the vanilla and poured it into my casserole dish. I topped it with a few sprinkes of fleur de sel. This caramel is perfect!!! Chewy, sweet, salty. Craving satisfied. Thanks so much for posting this recipie. I will be using is often.

Maggie said...

Anna: How tremendously cool that you can make candy in the microwave!! Thanks for giving the instructions. I'll be trying it myself soon!

LauraS said...

I made this the first time and I got caramel sauce, which wasn't what I was going for but we will use it for ice cream! The second go round, I did more research and did a cold water test, we have tons of caramels to snack on now. They are awesome, the dairy-free people in the house (my 4 year old) has never had caramel before as she is severely allergic to milk and she LOVED them. The rest of us have had store bought caramel before, and these are awesome substitutes. They taste at least as good as the store bought ones. Thank you so much for sharing!!! You have helped make our life a little bit sweeter!

Anonymous said...

These caramels are delicious!! I have been looking for a good caramel recipe that is dairy free. Wonderful!! I used almond milk as that was what I had on hand, and they still came out super!