Heady with ginger, clove, and nutmeg, these gingerbread caramels make sweet stocking stuffers and party favors. See Caramel-Filled Cones for the how-to. Caramels should be individually wrapped in cellophane or waxed paper to prevent them from sticking to one another.
- 4 cups (2 pints) heavy cream
- 2 cups light corn syrup
- 4 cups granulated sugar
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- Vegetable-oil cooking spray
Lightly coat a 12-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on short sides; spray paper.
In a large pot over high heat, bring cream, corn syrup, sugar, butter, and molasses to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Continue to cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture reaches 248 degrees (firm-ball stage) on a candy thermometer, about 20 minutes.
Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla, salt, and spices. Immediately pour onto prepared sheet, without scraping pot. Let stand, uncovered, 24 hours at room temperature (do not move pan).
Generously coat a large cutting board with cooking spray. Lifting it by the parchment overhang, invert caramel onto the cutting board; use a sharp knife to loosen parchment, and remove. Cut into 1-by-1 1/4-inch pieces. Wrap each in cellophane or waxed paper. Caramels can be stored up to 1 month in airtight containers.