Every Christmas {yes it’s well in to the new year and everyone’s diets and I’m still talking Christmas.} my family picks names and makes a gift for the name we pick.  It’s creative, means a heck of a lot less spending, and there is something so beautiful and special about a hand made gift.  We also write poems for the person who we pick and generally razz the crap out of them for whatever silliness they got up to the past year.  It’s like cheap family therapy.

goat milk and dark chocolate caramels.jpg

This year I got my mom’s name and was inspired by her Instagram feed of all things.  She follows {well now we all do} this amazing account called The Simple Farm that raises goats and make salted goats milk caramels.  Seriously go check that page out.  It’s amazing.  Anyway, they do not ship to Canada and I have heard her complain about that fact for long enough that I was inspired to make her caramels for her Christmas gift.   And in true Kolk fashion, nothing in moderation I made her 5 batches.

Almond caramels.jpg

I started with a basic caramel, and from there adapted my recipe and made a basic batch, a rum and eggnong batch, a dulce de leche and sea salt batch, a roasted hazelnut and almond batch, and a goats milk and sea salt batch wrapped in dark chocolate.  To say she was pleased would be an understatement.  They turned out beautifully, and little chef was on a sugar high for a good week as my official taste tester.

John making cookies wm


Here is the original recipe, and if you feel exceptionally inspired email me and I will send you my altered recipes for the other flavours.

Little Chef’s Caramels:

1 cup salted butter

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup corn syrup

1/2 cup liquid honey

14 fl oz sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Get a sheet tray or baking pan ready lined with parchment or wax paper.  Make sure there are no gaps where the caramel could seep through.

Place butter, sugar, syrup, and honey in to a sauce pot over medium heat.  When the mixture comes to a boil stir constantly and keep at a boil for 4 minutes.  Pour in the room temperature sweetened condensed milk and keep stirring.  Insert the candy thermometer and continue to keep on heat and stir until it reaches 238 degrees F.  Remove from the heat and add the vanilla (It steams and looks fun) and stir it in.  Then pour the hot caramel in to the pan and tilt the pan until the caramel reaches each corner.  Now the hard part: wait.  Let it get fully cool and then cut in to squares and wrap in wax paper.  *Note:  If your caramels are too soft, you may not have cooked the mixture long enough, or you have too much liquid in it.  If your caramels are too hard you may have cooked for too long or do not have enough liquid in.  The goat milk version that I made was quite soft.  Leading me to believe that the only option is for me to take a field trip to Scottsdale and learn from the best.


wrapped caramels.jpg

So give the recipe a go and send me some picture of what you have made!  Because January is not for kale and diets, it’s for caramels and butter and happiness.

“If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.”
Julia Child

Have a happy weekend friends!


2 Comment

  1. Wendy Parker says: Reply

    Oh you know I’d love to have those amazing recipes. I froze my eggnog in hopes of making some ….. yum!

  2. Wendy Parker says: Reply

    Oh you know I’d love to have those amazing recipes. I froze my eggnog in hopes of making some ….. yum!

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