Coconut Tequila Caramels


As Mother Nature wistfully thrusts us into my absolute favorite season of the year, Fall, I find that I can’t ignore my yearning for the smells and flavors that this glorious season evokes.  I love the overcast, cool and rainy days, the delicate rustling of the leaves as they transform into picturesque colors and begin to break loose from their branches, and most treasured, the smells of wonder baking in the oven.  While this recipe for Coconut Tequila Caramels doesn’t involve the oven, you won’t believe the breathtaking aroma that permeates the house upon creation.

Let me see if I can pique your interest here; chewy, buttery, toasty, sweet, salty, nutty, intoxicating harmony…captured your attention yet?  While these decadent candies render me speechless (and not just because my mouth is full of them), I nevertheless manage to muster up enough utterance to define the happiness that they create.  These caramels have euphoria about them that all desserts strive to possess.  They are perfect displayed on a holiday dessert buffet or individually wrapped as a treasured gift for someone special.  You might find however, that you don’t want to share them at all.

Don’t let the whiskey in this recipe deter you from making this amazing confection.  The liquor evaporates when cooked with the caramel leaving you with a profoundly flavorful candy.  I think that you’ll find that if you do decide to share these little bites of heaven, they will be warmly received time and time again!


Coconut Tequila Caramels          { Print Recipe }

Yield: 48 caramels

1-2 Tbsp  coconut oil, plus more for cutting caramels

1-16 oz can  coconut milk

¾ cup  light corn syrup

1 tsp  coarse sea salt

1 ¾ cup  granulated sugar

¾ cup  water

¼ cup  Tequila Blanco

½ cup   sweetened shredded coconut, toasted

½ cup  whole almonds, toasted and finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line the bottom and sides of an 8”x8” baking pan with parchment paper and lightly brush with coconut oil.

Place the whole almonds on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for approximately 8-10 minutes.  Check them after 5 minutes and give them a shake in the pan to ensure even toasting.  Chop the toasted nuts as finely as possible and set aside.  Using the same pan, toast the coconut for about 6-8 minutes stirring frequently as it can burn quickly.  Set the coconut aside and chop finely.

Combine the coconut milk, corn syrup, tequila and sea salt in a medium saucepan (4-6 quart).  Heat over medium low, stirring constantly for about 2-3 minutes until the milk is just warm and any coconut milk clumps are dissolved.  Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

In an 8-quart saucepan, combine the sugar and water and stir until sugar is completely wet.  Place over medium high heat and cook, without stirring, until the sugar turns a light amber color and a candy thermometer reads 310 degrees F, about 10-15 minutes.  Immediately remove the mixture from the heat and pour into the milk mixture.  Be careful as the mixture will bubble rapidly.  Return this saucepan to medium low heat and stir continuously until the caramel is completely dissolved (The caramel will solidify once added to the milk mixture, but will eventually soften and dissolve into the coconut milk).  Increase the heat to medium high, stirring constantly, and cook until the caramel becomes thick and a candy thermometer reads 240 degrees F, about 20-30 minutes.  Quickly stir in the almonds and coconut, immediately remove from the heat and pour into the prepared pan.  Let the caramel cool completely, about 2 hours, at room temperature.  Remove from the pan by lifting the parchment paper and cut into 1” squares.  Brush your knife with coconut oil as necessary between cutting to avoid sticking.  Wrap individually in parchment paper squares or store in an airtight container between sheets of parchment.  The caramels will last up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.




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