Caramel-Nougat Swirls

Photo: Will Anderson
Prep Time:
1 hr 15 mins
Total Time:
12 hrs
12 dozen 2-inch candies

Two types of treats come together in familiar candy-cane-style stripes. Our recipe calls for layering the nougat on top of the caramel on a baking sheet, then slicing and twisting the two together.



  • Safflower oil, for baking sheet and knife

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons light corn syrup

  • ¼ teaspoon coarse salt

  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • ½ cup nonfat milk powder

  • 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

  • 1 ¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • ¾ cup light corn syrup

  • 1 large egg white, room temperature

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 2 ounces white chocolate, melted and allowed to cool


  1. Caramel: Lightly brush bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet with oil. Line with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on long sides; lightly brush parchment with oil.

  2. Bring cream, granulated sugar, butter, and corn syrup to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat to medium-high; continue cooking, without stirring but swirling pan occasionally, until a candy thermometer registers 240 degrees, 8 to 10 minutes. Immediately remove from heat; stir in salt and vanilla.

  3. Pour caramel onto prepared baking sheet; spread with an offset spatula. Let stand, uncovered, at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day.

  4. Nougat: Sift together milk powder and confectioners' sugar into a bowl.

  5. Place 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Continue cooking, without stirring but swirling pan occasionally, until a candy thermometer registers 250 degrees, 8 to 10 minutes.

  6. Meanwhile, as sugar starts to boil, beat together egg white and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar on medium speed until stiff but not dry peaks form. Reduce speed to low; as soon as sugar syrup reaches 250 degrees, carefully pour down side of bowl. Increase speed to high and continue beating until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes more. Beat in vanilla, then chocolate. Fold in milk-powder mixture. (Nougat will appear grainy.)

  7. With a rubber spatula, scrape nougat onto caramel; smooth with an offset spatula. Let stand, uncovered, until completely cool and crystallized, 8 to 12 hours.

  8. Using parchment, lift candy slab onto a cutting board, keeping parchment underneath. With an oiled knife, cut into 9-by-1/2-inch strips; twist into spiral ropes. To serve, cut strips into 2-inch pieces, if desired. Candies can be wrapped individually in waxed paper and stored in an airtight container up to 1 week.

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