Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Toasted Almond Caramels

Servings: Makes about 4 dozen
These lovely toasted almond caramels would make a wonderful gift for giving during the holiday season. Your friends and family will love these tasty candies.

1 teaspoon plus 1/4 cup butter (no substitutes), divided
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped almonds, toasted

Line an 8-inch square pan with foil and butter the foil with 1 teaspoon butter; set aside.

In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt and remaining butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low; boil gently without stirring for 4 minutes.

Remove from the heat; slowly stir in cream. Return to the heat; cook, without stirring, over medium-low heat until a candy thermometer reads 245 degrees F (118 C) (firm-ball stage).

Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla and almonds. Pour into prepared pan (do not scrape sides of saucepan). Cool completely.

Cut into squares. Wrap individually in waxed paper or foil; twist ends.

Makes about 4 dozen.

Date: June 16, 2004