Smoked Almond Caramels

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 21 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Inactive: 2 hr
  • Cook: 11 min
  • Yield: 18 caramels
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Ingredients

Vegetable oil cooking spray

1 cup (5 ounces) coarsely chopped smoked almonds

Caramel:

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar

1 tablespoon water

3/4 cup bittersweet (60 percent cacao) chocolate chips (recommended: Ghiradelli)

Special equipment: a candy thermometer, a 12-count muffin pan

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 turtles from the pan (caramel will be hard). Let the turtles stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour (to allow the caramel to soften) before serving.
  4. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.