1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
3 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground espresso powder or instant coffee granules
1 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
Line 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil, extending foil over edges. Butter foil. Sprinkle pecans over bottom of pan. Set aside.
Combine brown sugar, cinnamon and espresso powder in small bowl. Melt butter in 4 quart saucepan over low heat; add brown sugar mixture, half & half and corn syrup. Increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil (6 to 8 minutes).
Reduce heat to medium. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until candy thermometer registers 242°F. or small amount of mixture dropped into ice water forms a firm ball (40 to 45 minutes). Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Carefully pour over pecans in prepared pan. Cool completely.
Lift caramels out of pan, using foil ends. Cut into 1-inch square pieces with buttered knife. Individually wrap pieces in waxed paper or plastic food wrap. Store in refrigerator. Serve in mini paper or foil cups, if desired.
- To make cleaning of candy making utensils easy, place them in the saucepan used to make caramels and fill with hot water. Bring the water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until hardened candy is dissolved. Wash the saucepan and utensils in hot soapy water.
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