Go Back
Apple Caramels
Author: Jackie
Ingredients
Shortbread Layer-
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice*
Caramel Layer-
  • 4 cups fresh apple cider reduced to 1/2 cup*
  • 2 cups brown sugar packed
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup Karo┬« Syrup (Light)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts optional
Instructions
Shortbread Layer
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 inch baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer, cream together butter and powdered sugar for 2-3 minutes on medium speed. Add flour, cornstarch and apple pie spice; beat on low until just combined.
  3. Evenly spread shortbread dough in prepared pan.
  4. Bake until edges are just slightly golden brown, 7-9 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool while making the caramel.
Caramel Layer
  1. In a medium-sized saucepan on medium heat, gently boil the cider until it has reduced to a thick, dark syrup and yields about 1/2 cup, stirring occasionally. This process should take around 35-45 minutes. See notes below for an alternative.
  2. In a heavy-bottomed pot, combine sugar, cream, apple cider reduction, Karo® Syrup, and butter. Cook at medium heat until your candy thermometer reaches 247 degrees (firm ball stage), stirring frequently.

  3. Once the caramel has reached hard ball stage, remove from heat and add vanilla and salt, stir a few more times to combine.
  4. Carefully pour the hot caramel over shortbread crust and sprinkle with chopped walnuts, if desired.
  5. Allow caramel to cool for at least 8 hours.
  6. Cut into small 1"x1" squares and wrap in parchment paper or caramel wrappers.
Recipe Notes

If you do not have apple pie spice on hand-make your own with this recipe here.
The apple cider syrup can be made up to 1 week ahead of time if stored in an airtight container and refrigerated.
You can also purchase boiled cider (aka apple cider syrup) on Amazon or other kitchen stores.

If you do not have a thermometer, go here for other methods.