Smoked Almond Caramels

Total Time:
2 hr 21 min
Prep:
10 min
Inactive:
2 hr
Cook:
11 min

Yield:
18 caramels
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
Directions

Spray a 12-count muffin pan, liberally, with vegetable oil cooking spray. Put the almonds in the bottom of each muffin cup and set aside.

For the caramel: In a 3-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the cream, butter, sugar, and water. Stir over medium heat until the mixture is smooth. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 240 degrees F, about 5 to 7 minutes. Let the mixture cool for 30 seconds. Using a long-handled, metal spoon, carefully spoon the caramel over the nuts. Allow the caramel to harden, at room temperature, for 1 hour.

Put the chocolate chips in a medium stainless steel or glass bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water and stir occasionally until the chocolate has melted, about 4 minutes. Spoon the chocolate over the caramel and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Using a thin-bladed spatula, remove the candies from the pan (caramel will be hard). Let the candies stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour (to allow the caramel to soften) before serving.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.


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4.5 63
What a waste  !!!! Î have tried this recipe 3 times have sent the recipe to the recipe graveyard !!!!  item not reviewed by moderator and published
These are amazing!!! I read all of the reviews and followed the recipe exactly. Boiled caramel to 240 and did not stir, I think the trick is to make sure butter is softened so it melts quicker. Making a double batch next time. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I didn't have heavy cream so I used light sour cream instead and it came out fantastic a huge hit!! I didn't have time to wait for the butter to get to room temperature so I sliced it, layered it with the sour cream and then the brown sugar. And continued with the recipe. I also added vanilla and a touch of almond extract at the end. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was so delicious!! Bravo Giada! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I'm in New York like another reviewer. I really do believe that altitude plays a big role in cooking and baking. A friend made caramel at the recomended 240 degrees F and it never set--not even in the fridge. So that and a few of the comments encouraged me to boil the caramel to a higher temp. I upped mine to 250 degrees, the result was a chewy caramel that kept its shape even at room temperature. It was firm enough to pop out of the pan whole, but soft enough to chew. Very nice! I will definately make these again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
It's so depressing to not get the right texture, because the turtles are so perfectly sweet and buttery with the bittersweet chocolate and smoked almonds. My mistake was throwing the cold ingredients straight from the refridgerator and into the pot. I ended up stirring the caramel for much longer than intended to break down the butter, and the lovelies set grainy. Make sure you start with room temperature ingredients! Especially the butter, like the recipe says! item not reviewed by moderator and published
You will def want to use MINI cupcake tins, this recipe you would need 48 count, I only have 24 count mini - so I had 2 use a few regular size which were very big, the caramel is super gooey, doesn't set as well as other caramel recipes i've made, you could substitute your fav recipe there tho, and I used a cookie dough scooper, perfect for the mini tins...DON'T TOUCH YOUR CARAMEL once you get it mixed, let it come to temp on 4 or 5 on an electric stove, if it's on low you will be there forever waiting to hit 240...all in all, very tasty recipe, smoked almonds were a twist for my, but OMG - melt in your mouth! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Made these tonight and they turned out so well! First time I've ever made caramel and was a little nervous. But my advice is don't be! It's so easy, and the caramel just does the work for you. I took the advice below and used a mini cupcake pan. They're very chewy, so I'm not sure what I could have done differently to change that but they still were great. I also debated on getting regular almonds rather than smoked because I wasn't sure if I'd like it, but it really does add a great flavor. Thanks Giada! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Nice little sweet bite! Made 31 in mini muffin tins. Set 8 chocolate chips on top of the warm caramel and swirled them. Whenever I use chocolate chips to layer on bars, candy, etc., it never totally firms up and makes a gooey mess. Any suggestions? item not reviewed by moderator and published
Loved the flavor! They came out really good. Mini muffin tin is definitely the way to go. I didn't have Almonds so I used Toasted Pecans and they worked out great. I think I needed to let the caramel cook another minute or two. It set up but still a little to soft. After following all directions I turned them over and coated the bottoms with chocolate too to seal-in the caramel so you could pick them up without the caramel sticking to your fingers. These would make a great gift. Just make sure to make a trial batch first to make sure you've got the caramel right before making a the final batch. item not reviewed by moderator and published
For anyone that is looking to make something simple yet delicious for a dessert or even just a snack I recommend this recipe. I made it last night and it was a complete success!! I didn't have a candy thermometer or a muffin pan so I used a cupcake pan instead and just went by the time stated in the recipe. I also crushed up some almonds and regular peanuts into small pieces so it was easier for my kids to eat and let me just say they loved every single bite!! Thanks Giada!! This is another recipe of yours that I will make again and again!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
giada the smoked almonds were a great choice i didn't have a candy thermometer so i estimated on the caramel sauce and i was wrong it was very soft and kept melting super quickly and i advise u all dont be like me and put too much chocolate because it hardens a small layer is best...my brothers loved this ur unparalleled Giada item not reviewed by moderator and published
I don't usually like smoked flavors, but these are really good! The caramel was easy to make although I found, as with most candy recipes, that it takes longer than 5-7 minutes to reach the desired temperature. I too used a miniature muffin tin. Make sure to spray a lot of vegetable spray in the cups- I had a hard time getting the turtles out. item not reviewed by moderator and published
HELP! Can I fix grainy caramel?!?! I doubled the caramel recipe. All went well until I needed to reheat the caramel. I needed more time to prepare additional pans as I had more caramel. I tried to heat up the caramel and I made the mistake of stirring it. Now I can see the big difference in the caramel - 1st batch (not stirred) is nice and shiney. Remainder of re-heated caramel is grainy. Is there anything I can do to salvage this?? Thanks!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I haven't made these yet. I read a bunch of the reviews and now I'm worried about the caramel part. Can I just use the pre-made wrapped candies instead? If so, do I just melt it and pour it on? Will it harden enough? item not reviewed by moderator and published
These are incredibly good. I'm not one to like smoked things but the smoked almonds really make them yummy and special. Also, I used a miniature muffin pan and that was just the right size. A regular muffin pan makes them too big - they are so rich, they need to be smaller. My guests loved these! item not reviewed by moderator and published
awesome! Yes, very easy to use pre-made caramels (either from a block or the individually-wrapped ones. Please do NOT be scared about making homemade caramel: once you do, you'll only do the other if short on time. I am always afraid of the candy thermometer/chance of burning myself, but this recipe is a winner no matter what. If you don't want huge turtles, i suggest a mini-muffin pan lined with foil cupcake liners (red, green, gold)....keep well, and always well-received. Easy, peasy, great using pre-made caramels if a child wants to help. item not reviewed by moderator and published
These were fantastic! Everyone can't get enough of them.....Definitely will make them again. Experimented with white chocolate drizzled over chocolate.....Yummy!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Wow, these were surprisingly easy! This was my first time making caramel and the instructions were clear and easy to follow. Love the smoked almond combination. I used mini muffins and got about 34 of them. However, I did find that 3/4 c of chocolate was not enough to cover them all. Probably double that, but I covered the tops completely, not a drizzle. Will certainly make again! item not reviewed by moderator and published
The flavor of these is absolutely yummy, but getting the texture correct is the tough part. I, too, used mini muffin tin, but think next time, i'll let the caramels cool completely, pop them out and put the chocolate on the opposite side. There just doesn't seem to be enough chocolate otherwise! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Tips for candy making: Always test thermometer each time. Place in pan of boiling water. Temp should read 212 degr, F/100 degr C. If not right, figure difference & adjust. Ball of therm shouldn't touch bottom of pan. Caramel: Wipe pan with butter. This will help keep sugar from sticking once cooking starts. Never stir after cooking starts. This can cause crystals to form which makes caramel grainy. Never scrap sides of pan, this also causes crystalization. Melting chocolate: Pan/bowl, utinsils, fingers, everything must be perfectly dry. The smallest bit of moisture will cause the chocolate to "seize". No real, so start another batch. Hope this helps. item not reviewed by moderator and published
ok Even tho these are so good (the smoky saltiness of the nuts combined with the sweet caramel OMG!) I'm finding the caramel too sweet and have yet to get the consistency just right (I know this is dependent on temp/time of boiling caramel-not the recipe). And even the mini muffin size is still too big would like to have it small enough for one bite So still trying to perfect this really fabulous recipe and in the meantime enjoying every bite of each test recipe (gawd I hope I dont gain weight) item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made these about two times already, I'm actually getting ready to make them again. I read that some reviewers had problems with their caramel coming out grainy. That happened to me the first time I made them, my mistake is that I kept stirring the caramel (with a whisk) while it was bubbling and you're not suppose to do that. Just add the ingredients into the pot and let it all come together like friends on its own. Just lift the pan, move your arm in circles gently but dont mix with a spoon or fork or anything ( not sure that made sense hehe). I did it like that the second time and it came out really smooth. I got that from Ina. Hope this helps :) Give it a try their delicious and super fun to make :) item not reviewed by moderator and published
The caramel didn't set. I followed the recipe exactly, but the caramel was a runny mess, and the chocolate was hard as a rock. The smokey almonds were delicious with the caramel and chocolate, but I couldn't serve them because fo the obvious texture issues. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Well they tasted great, but my caramel didn't set, even though I let it reach exactly the temperature it calls for on the recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've made this about 4 times and it's always hit! The first time around I used a regular size muffin pan and it was a little to much so I switched to a mini muffin pan and it's just right!! Thanks again Giada item not reviewed by moderator and published
I also made these for the first time. I bought a new candy thermometer and went right by thr directions,however my caramel also came out VERY grainy. Im not sure what went wrong.I read on another review that she lived in Colorado and she thought the altitude might of had something to do with it. I live in New York and I had the same problem.Any suggestions????? item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made two batches,both turned out great.I put in mini muffin tin with liners(sprayed lightly).each batch made 36 minis.Nice size Stirred to mix until smooth,once it started to boil,left alone. It took 8-9 minutes both times for it to come to 240. Didn't & Wouldn't change a thing.(except size) Thank you Giada item not reviewed by moderator and published
This dessert is wonderful! The cruch, the texture, the chocolate...all around winner! I did make them in a mini muffin pan so they would be bite sized, but that was all I changed. Great recipe! Crowd pleaser. item not reviewed by moderator and published
everyone i made for loved them. made them as christmas presents for all my friends and family and they liked it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
So the first time I made the turtles they came out good, the only thing that went wrong was the fact that I didn't let the mixture boil until it reached 140 degrees like the directions told me to do so. So as I took the turtles out of the muffin pan, it was gooey. I put it in the freezer which seemed to help, but you can't leave it on the counter for too long or everthing will start to mix together. I was determend to make the turtles perfect the second time around. I let everything boil until it reached the 140 degree mark, and they turned out perfectly! They are soo good when you make them correctly, so the important thing is to cook them until it reaches 140 degrees!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe has an amazing taste but didn't turn out like Giada's chewy turtles. I bought and used a new candy thermometer and cooked just as the recipe said, being certain not to over stir.. The caramel turned out grainy. I live in Denver, CO at a mile high so I was wondering if that makes a difference. I have always had a difficult time making candy and after watching Giada make these I thought this recipe looked fool proof. Not so. Does the temperature need adjusted to get chewy caramel? Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I need to do to perfect this recipe? item not reviewed by moderator and published
These were wonderful! I used mini-muffin tins because they are so rich it is hard to eat a whole one. Everybody that tries these say they are the best!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made these last night and they were delicious! I sprayed mini muffin tin liberally with oil spray and they popped right out. The carmel is soft but not runny, and I think that is due to the heavy whipping cream. They are so tasty! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a great receipe that everyone who had a chance to try LOVED! I'm adding it to my regular receipe list! Thanks! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe was easy, the cooking time is not correct though. If you have ever made candy it takes a while to reach the high temps required. I think I may have overcooked slightly but still tastes delicious. I rubbed butter the muffin tins and turtle popped right out. I did have to cut up with a knife because it was a little big and hard to eat at one time. I would rename these smoked almond toffee. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made these yesterday, and found that the regular size muffin tin makes a turtle which is just too big!! I'll use the mini-muffin tins next time. The recipe says the caramel will come to 240 degrees in "about 5 to 7 minutes"; mine took closer to 35-37 minutes!! Be sure to resist the intense desire to stir the caramel -- apparently, that is what makes it gritty. Also, the chocolate did not stick to the caramel--any ideas as to why that happened. I can't see any reason to refrigerate the chocolate after spooning it over the caramel; it just makes the caramel colder so you have to wait 30+ minutes before tasting. Overall, a tasty treat which I'll definitely make again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My sister and I made the turtles today. We used walnuts and made the first batch in the muffin tin but had a hard time getting them out. So, the next batch we used the foil muffin cups. Next time, I will use the small muffin cups. I did think the carmel was a little soft. I also need to adjust my thermometer. We are making these again for co-workers at Christmas. We also made the truffles and the marshmellows. I never would have believed how good the marshmellows were. item not reviewed by moderator and published
YUM! I will make these again and again and again... husband ate them all within a few days. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Made in mini muffin tins. Way too sweet for my tastes and had to use a small screw driver to pry out of the pan. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This seemed easy enough - however I didn't get carmel. My caramel layer was so hard I was afraid I was going to break my teeth. What did I do wrong? item not reviewed by moderator and published
My caramel seems to be more toffee like, did I do something wrong? Help please. I prefer a softer sweet. It is super yum, just not as soft as I expected. Perhaps I stirred too long. I have not noticed a grainy texture, maybe I should wait the full hour before trying. thanks for your feedback. Dina item not reviewed by moderator and published
Made these the day after seeing the show. Turned out awesome. Cooked the caramel to about 242 degrees. Be sure not to put your candy thermometer against the bottom of the pot as it will give you a false reading. Also once the mixture is smooth and the butter and sugar appears melted stop stirring as it will crystallize and be grainy. Also don't boil the mixture on too high of a temp or it will quickly burn. Thanks for the recipe Giada!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I found this easy to make. Just a couple of hints. I only got 12 (not 18) turtles. I found it easier to get them out of the pan if I let it set out for a few mintues after taking out of the refridgerator. Some of the chocolate cracked when I tried to pry out. After I got the hang of it, they came right out. Would be good in a mini cupcake pan too. Wouldn't be such a big turtle. I sued whipping cream and not heavy cream. Was not grainy. Would defitnetly make again! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a recipe I intend to perfect - it is soooo good. What I found was, I needed to calibrate my candy thermometer. ( Put your thermo in a pot of water and bring to a boil. If the water does not boil at exactly 212 degrees, adjust your cooking temp up or down to compensate.) Use HEAVY whipping cream. Cut butter into small cubes to speed melting and lessen stirring. While you bring the caramel mixture to a boil, put a lid on - the condensation will "brush down" the sugar on the sides of the pot. Stir as little as possible! Invest in a long handled ladle from the restaurant supply store - cheap and useful for filling cups. Be prepared to sacrifice the last couple of candies -- 'scraping' the bottom of the pot sometimes makes the last few grainy. I had a little caramel "left" so added to some of the cups I'd already made - I wouldn't do that again. The added mixture was a little grainy! I made 24 minis and used cupcake cups to make two bigger ones of what was left. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Try about 1-2 tsps. corn syrup, which is "invert sugar," so that the melted sugar doesn't seed and cause the graininess. Also, did you brush down the sides of the pan with water? You need to make sure all the crystals on the sides of the pan are dissolved. Don't use any spoons that have grains of sugar on them--measure stuff out and then have a fresh set of spoons or spatulas for after the caramel is formed. I am looking forward to trying this recipe, but I did wonder how the turtles would "hold," ie keep. Someone answered my question! Wish me luck! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Everyone loved these turtles. I used 1 C of brown sugar and pecans. Excellent! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is the first carmel we have ever made and highly recommend this. My husband and I made it together. We used wipping ceam and they were great foe Halloween. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I called a pastry chef at le Cordon Bleu at the Chicago Cooking and Hospitality Institute and was told that there is a HUGE difference in using HEAVY Cream and just WHIPPING cream. The slight difference in fat content makes an enormous difference in the end result from being grainy to being smooth. Using more will not work as it dilutes the caramel, so heavy whipping cream is the way to go I suppose. Hope this helps. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Several reviewers had their caramel crystallize (get grainy) possibly from not using heavy cream or stirring once the boiling has begun. Stirring causes the sugar to crystallize as it adds air and mixes in steam that is arising during the evaporation process. Only stir just before heating--and only to make sure the sugar gets wet from the cream. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Not sure what I did wrong because my caramels never got firm like Giada's did on her show. I waited the 1 hr as instructed but it was always a little soft. I decided to put the bittersweet chocolate after an 1 1/2 and that firmed up great. When I went to take them out the caramel was still gooey. Not sure if I should boil the caramel longer than the 240 for a firmer texture. Also I think I'll do what some of the others did...put it in the mini muffins since they are a little rich (for me). All in all though, great recipe. Love Giada and I'm addicted to this show! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I Loved these and they were beyond easy to make. But both times I have made them they were only chewy and good if you ate them the same day. The next day they were kind of grainy and fell apart...anyone know what i did wrong? item not reviewed by moderator and published
I think I need a new candy thermometer. I cooked the caramel until 230 and it looked dark and smelled like it was burning so I had a bad feeling. The end result, I have Smoked Almond Brittle. I like brittle but not what I wanted. I think it's okay and will go buy another thermometer and try again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
These turtles were very easy to make and very tasty. I used a mini-muffin pan instead of a larger one, and these turned out to be perfectly bit sized. I was worried that they wouldn't come out of the pan, but when you press on one side, they pop out easily. I also used plain roasted almonds instead of the smoked. i will definitely make these again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My caramel ended up being grainy can someone tell me what I did wrong? Thanks item not reviewed by moderator and published
These are amazing!! I made all of the recipes she had on this show and they were all amazing but these are the best!!! My husband and i both took some to work and they have that OMG effect on people!!! They are so good! I did use milk chocolate on the top though because i dont like dark or bitter chocolate! They are SOOO good!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I did the mini muffin tins for bite size turtles. Worked great. I made about 36 with same recipe (I bought pack of 3 foil tins). My caramel seemed a little soft at room temperature but this was my first attempt at using a candy thermometer. Maybe I did something wrong. I may try to heat it to 245? next time for a firmer ball. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I am going to try it in a min-muffin pan..for little bites..also make some the stated size also! Cannot wait to try these..they sound so GOOD! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I'm off to make these candies and they look terrific but the recipe says serves 18 Turtles but it says use a 12 hole muffin tin. Question for those who already made.....Should I be worried that I'll have extra or is this a mistake? item not reviewed by moderator and published
Absolutely fantastic! item not reviewed by moderator and published
These were fantastic! I used an assortment of nuts. This is a keeper. Thank-you Giada! I will make these all through the year! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is not JUST FOR KIDS. This is so delicous. GIada is a real chef .She doesn't over salt everything LIKE INA and she doesnt stick her fingers in her food like PAULA. She is the best. An your baby is gorgeous---she looks just like her daddy. item not reviewed by moderator and published
MY FRIENDS HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT HOW GOOD FRESH MARSHMELLOWSARE THRY WILL NEVER BELIEVE THESE!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published

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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen