06 August 2010

Ale and Pretzel Soft Caramels

I'm fascinated by the combination of beer and food. And I'm not alone. On the Basin Brewers website, which I run for the club in exchange for beer*, the single most popular page is the Beer and Food Pairings page.

I am also interested in recipes that use beer as an ingredient. So when I stumbled across this recipe, I knew I would have to repost it here.

Ale and Pretzel Soft Caramels
Yield: 75+ caramels

1 12 oz. bottle of brown or pale ale, divided
2 cups sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup light corn syrup
1 8 oz. package pretzel rods (can use pretzel sticks too)

1 roll of wax paper
Scissors

In a small saucepan bring 1 cup of ale to a simmer and cook until reduced and syrupy. This will take about 20 minutes and yield about 1 tsp. of concentrated ale flavoring. Set aside.

Butter a 13 x 9 inch pan or 2 -9x9 inch pans and set aside. Combine remaining beer and all other ingredients except ale reduction in a heavy 4-5 quart pot. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Butter will melt and mixture will begin to boil.

Continue to cook until candy thermometer reaches 244 degrees, this will take about 30 minutes. You can test your caramel in a bowl of ice water to check the consistency. It should form a firm ball.

When the correct temperature has been reached, stir in the ale reduction and remove from heat. Pour into prepared pan(s) and top with pretzel rods. Let cool for several hours or place in fridge until firm. Remove from pan and turn pretzel-side up on a cutting board (if refrigerated, let caramel block warm up a little for easier cutting). Cut between pretzels and then into 1" pieces. Cut wax paper into approx. 5 x 5 inch squares and wrap caramels.

NOTES: Caramels must be wrapped or they will lose their shape over time. Use silicone pans for easy removal.


So what beer recipes do you have? Post 'em in the comments, please.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 11:01

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