Is it too obvious to begin by saying that I’m probably a day late on these? I have good reason — I promise.
I just didn’t…
I’m a terrible procrastinator.
There, I said it.
Not at all things, but when it comes to my personal life, I seem to do this thing that maybe kind of sort of could be called burning the candle at both ends. Biting off more than I can chew? Overloading the crap out my schedule. And it’s not even a real schedule that means anything of importance to anyone at all except me. It’s Emily Schedule, up there in Emily Brain (Emiland?), just compelling me to stay busy all the time and then punishing me for putting excessive pressure on myself with hour upon distracting hour of young adult novels and streaming television. It’s pretty ironic how easily I can talk myself out of doing things I’ve already talked myself into.
Are you still awake? I almost nodded off there.
Let’s get on to matters more exciting than my inner monologue. Matters like: Spicy. Chocolate. Caramels.
A little hot. A little chewy. A little chocolatey. And SO easy to make. Six ingredients and 45 mins and you’ve got yourself a fancy little treat that’s totally giftable, party-worthy, you name it. Box, bow done. OR, plate, face done. Either works for me.
(Random note #1: Intrigued by the spice? Stay tuned later this week for an even naughtier variation.)
(Random note #2: Happy almost-birthday, Em! Good thing you’re not too bummed by ruined surprises…)
Spicy Chocolate Caramels
By Emily Stoffel (Adapted from Food & Wine)
Cook time: ~45 mins (plus chilling)
Makes: 25-30 caramels
Note: The original recipe for these little chocospheres called them “truffles,” which I find a bit misleading. Sure, they look a little truffle-ish, but they’re really more of a chewy candy, rich with caramelized sugar, so I’m calling them caramels. If we want to get really street, these are more or less Tootsie Roll’s sophisticated cousin, Tootsie Balls. Yep, that sounds classier.
- 1 14 oz can condensed milk
- 1 tsp salted butter
- 1 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (or chipped)
- 1 tsp + 1 T ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp hot paprika
- 3 T cacao powder (for rolling)
Combine condensed milk, butter and chocolate in a nonstick saucepan. Cook over low to med-low heat for 18-25 mins or until mixture is shiny and very thick, stirring constantly. (Time will depend on the heat of your stove and the size of your saucepan.) Stir in 1 tsp cinnamon and paprika. Pour into a shallow dish and cool to room temp for 15 minutes. Refrigerate until completely cooled.
Combine 1 T cinnamon and cacao powder in a small dish. With buttered hands, scoop rounded teaspoons of cooled mixture into balls and roll in cacao. Set aside on parchment or tuck into small paper candy cups if you’re feeling fance. Repeat with remaining mixture. Serve chilled or at room temp.
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