Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Salted Caramels are a beautiful balance of sweet caramel and flaky sea salt, with deep notes of peanut butter.
We all have our favorite types of candy; that one thing we can’t resist when we see it at the store. Peanut butter cups, cherry cordials, butter toffee, fudge, to name just a few. For me, when I walk by a candy shop and smell fresh-made caramel, it takes every ounce of willpower to resist. That aroma calls me like a siren.
Around the holidays, I like to try my hand at making a few of my favorite homemade candies. My homemade caramel has been a favorite of my family and friends for years; it’s something they always request (ahem, some of them even demand, lol) and since it’s surprisingly easy to make, I always do it. It doesn’t get any more festive than homemade candy, right?
These peanut butter caramels are everything you’d expect from caramel, and then some! They have the perfect soft and chewy texture. The sweet caramel is balanced out with a bit of flaky sea salt, and they’re accented with deep peanut flavor thanks to Peanut Butter & Co. Smooth Operator peanut butter.
When it comes to making caramel, you will be very happy at how easy they actually are to make. The only trick involved in this recipe is to stir the entire time. Yes, it’s tedious and boring, but that is the only way the caramel doesn’t scorch on the bottom. Do it right and you’ll be rewarded with the best caramel of your life.
You can cut these caramels as big as you like! I went with a two-bite size (because I found that if I go smaller than that, I just go back for a second caramel anyway, lol). Wrapping these up in parchment or wax paper really is the part of the process that takes the longest, but you can make it a festive thing! Put on some music and it doesn’t hurt that you can snag a few of these caramels as you work.
I can’t think of any better Christmas stocking stuffer or homemade holiday gift than these beauties! (But really, they’re also perfect as a lunchtime treat or afternoon snack any day.)
What is your absolute favorite type of candy?
- 6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter
- ⅔ cup (160 ml) light corn syrup
- 1½ cups (300 g) sugar
- ¾ cup (180 ml) heavy whipping cream
- ⅔ cup Peanut Butter & Co. Smooth Operator peanut butter
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Flaky sea salt, for topping
- Line an 8 by 8-inch glass baking dish with 2 pieces of parchment paper so it hangs over all 4 sides. Lightly grease the corners of the dish with coconut oil (or a neutral-flavored oil). Set aside.
- Add the butter to a 3-quart pot over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in the corn syrup, and then the sugar, whisking until fully dissolved. Whisk in the cream, and then the peanut butter and salt until smooth.
- Continue cooking over medium heat until it reaches 246F on a candy thermometer, stirring constantly (constant stirring is crucial to this caramel so it doesn’t scorch on the bottom).
- Once at 246F, remove from the heat and carefully stir in the vanilla.
- Carefully pour the caramel into the prepared dish. Let it sit at room temperature until fully cooled, about 4 hours to properly set.
- Cut into pieces, sprinkle a little flaky sea salt on top of each, and wrap in parchment or wax paper.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Disclosure: I received the peanut butter that I used in this recipe for free from Peanut Butter & Co., and I also received compensation for this post. I am happy for the opportunity to share brands that I believe in with my readers, and I hope you enjoy my recipe. As always, opinions stated are my own.