31. Sea Salt Chocolate Caramels Make Chocolate Caramels (No. 30). Sprinkle with sea salt while still warm.
32. Nut Clusters Cook 1 1/2 cups sugar over medium heat, swirling the pan but not stirring, until dark amber, about 10 minutes. Off the heat, stir in 2 tablespoons butter and 3 cups salted mixed nuts. Pour onto an oiled baking sheet; separate into clusters. Let harden.
33. Nut Brittle Microwave 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup light corn syrup and 1 1/2 cups salted mixed nuts until the syrup is golden, about 8 minutes, stirring twice. Stir in 1 tablespoon butter, 1 teaspoon each vanilla and baking soda, and a pinch of salt. Spread on an oiled baking sheet and let cool. Break into pieces.
34. Maple Walnuts Spread 1 pound toasted walnuts on an oiled baking sheet. Heat 1 3/4 cups maple syrup in a saucepan over medium-high heat until a candy thermometer reaches 238 degrees F, about 15 minutes; pour over the nuts and stir to coat. Bake at 350 degrees F, 5 minutes, then separate the nuts. Let cool.
35. Almond Nougat Microwave 1 cup each sugar and honey in a microwave-safe glass measuring cup until a candy thermometer reaches 290 degrees F, 10 to 15 minutes. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 2 egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. With the motor running, drizzle in the hot honey mixture and beat until thick, 8 minutes. On low speed, add 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 2 1/2 cups almonds. Transfer to an oiled parchment paper–lined baking sheet; flatten to 1 inch thick with a rolling pin. Cool 2 hours, then cut into squares.
36. Pistachio Nougat Make Almond Nougat (No. 35), replacing the almonds with pistachios and adding 2 teaspoons orange zest with the nuts.
37. Honeycomb Candy Boil 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1/4 cup each water and light corn syrup in a saucepan over medium-high heat, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reaches 300 degrees F, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon baking soda and pour quickly onto an oiled rimmed baking sheet (do not spread). Let harden, then break into pieces. Melt 8 ounces chopped milk chocolate with 2 teaspoons shortening in the microwave; dip the candy in the chocolate. Let set.
38. Butterscotch Candies Boil 2 cups water, 1 1/2 cups each granulated and brown sugar, 1 1/2 sticks butter, 2 tablespoons cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reaches 270 degrees F (this could take up to 40 minutes). Remove from the heat, stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla and pour into a parchment paper–lined 8-inch-square pan. Let cool slightly, then cut into squares and let cool completely.
39. Saltine Toffee Lay 16 saltine crackers in a foil-lined 8-inch-square pan. Boil 1 stick butter and 1/4 cup each granulated and brown sugar, stirring, 3 minutes; pour over the crackers. Bake at 375 degrees F, 5 minutes. Top with 1 cup milk chocolate chips; bake 1 more minute, then spread the chocolate evenly. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Chill, then cut into squares.
40. Cheesecake Bites Line 36 mini-muffin cups with paper liners. Mix 3/4 cup finely crushed graham crackers, 1 tablespoon sugar and 2 tablespoons melted butter; press into the liners and chill until firm. Blend 8 ounces cream cheese, 1/4 cup each sour cream and confectioners’ sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon each vanilla and lemon zest; fold in 1/2 cup whipped cream. Pipe or spoon into the crusts; chill 1 hour. Top with cherry or plum jam.