Caramel buttercream-filled dark chocolate candies, made with homemade caramel, cloaked in dark chocolate, and sprinkled with crushed sea salt.
Since first discovering that I could make caramel sauce at home, easily, on my stovetop, without a candy thermometer, I’ve realized that there’s a whole new world of caramel-infused recipe possibilities at my fingertips and have been doing my best to take full advantage of that.
Second only to cookie dough, caramel might just be my favorite things to make (much to Zach’s annoyance, as he’s often left scraping burnt splashes of the sauce off of the stovetop… just remember that the sooner you wipe any splashes up the easier it is to clean, or maybe just don’t stir as vigorously and distractedly as I do).
And, of course, what pairs better with caramel than chocolate and sea salt?
This recipe is a trifecta of flavors–the dark chocolate, the sweet caramel buttercream filling, and the lightly salted tops that really help to bring out the sweetness and flavor of the caramel. Use the sea salt sparingly, as a little goes a long way.
These buttercream candies are made with a homemade caramel (don’t panic; it’s very easy to make, and no candy thermometer is required, just be sure you read the directions carefully) rolled into 1″ spheres, cloaked in a rich dark chocolate and then sprinkled with crushed sea salt, to taste.
They are very sweet and very rich, what you’d expect from chocolate coated caramel candy, and just one or two will be plenty to satiate your sweet tooth.
Just keep in mind that, while these are really quite easy candies and the actual work required does not take much time, there is a significant amount of time required to allow the caramel to cool completely (otherwise it will melt the powdered sugar and you’ll have a gloppy mess on your hands) and for the buttercream filling to set so that it’s manageable and can be rolled into balls. Make sure that you read the instructions through in advance to make sure you have enough time to finish them.
- 1 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup salted butter cut into Tbsp-sized pieces., 1 stick
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar - sifted
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch -sifted
- 2 cups dark chocolate chips/melting wafers*
- crushed sea salt for sprinkling**
- In medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine brown sugar, butter, heavy cream, and corn syrup.
- Stir until butter is completely melted.
- Increase heat to medium-high and, stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil.
- Boil for two minutes, stirring constantly, and then remove from heat. Continue to stir frequently so caramel doesn't burn.
- Allow to cool 5 minutes then stir in vanilla extract.
- Allow caramel to cool completely before proceeding (otherwise the heat from the caramel may melt the sugar and you will just have a mess on your hands).
- Once caramel has cooled completely, transfer to KitchenAid and, with mixer on low-speed, gradually stir in sifted powdered sugar and corn starch (if mixture is too sticky you may need to add up to another 1/2 cup sugar).
- Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours (or overnight).
- Roll mixture into 1" balls and place on wax-paper lined cookie sheet (if the mixture begins to be too warm or sticky, place in the freezer for 10 minutes before resuming).
- Place in freezer for 10-15 minutes.
- Prepare chocolate by melting in large bowl for 30 seconds, stirring, and then repeating at 15 second intervals until chocolate is completely melted.
- Dip buttercreams in chocolate***, transfer to wax-paper lined surface and allow the shells to harden before serving.
- Sprinkle sparingly with sea salt.
- Recommended that they be kept refrigerated
!**Add the sea salt very sparingly, even more-so than pictured in these photos. A little goes a long way.
!***Prepare chocolate by melting in large bowl for 30 seconds, stirring, and then repeating at 15 second intervals until chocolate is completely melted.
Dip buttercreams in chocolate***, transfer to wax-paper lined surface and allow the shells to harden before serving.
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