IT’S BEER WEEK!!!
Yes! Beer week! A week full of beer, breweries and recipes! Brought to you by the same fabulous women who brought you crepe week! I must admit, when I first found out the theme of this week, I winced. I’m more of a martini girl. And the only time I really drink beer is when it’s really hot out and I’m eating spicy food! My favorite beer is actually Red Stripe. And while I thought about some type of savory baking, I was determined to use the beer in a sweet recipe. And so I made these beer caramels!
I am such a sucker for the sweet and salty combination. And I decided to take advantage of one of the seasonal beers to bring depth to the caramel. You really could make beer caramels with any beer of your choice. What’s your favorite? This time I chose . . . . .
. . . . .Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale!
Sweet. Chewy. Salty. Crunchy. You can have it all! Here’s how. . . . .
Yields: about 50 pieces
Level of Difficulty: Easy
BEER AND PRETZEL CARAMELS:
- 1 (12 ounce) bottle of pumpkin ale (or any beer of your choice)
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup of firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 1 cup of light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup of chopped salted pretzels
The thing that’s going to add the most beer flavor to these caramels is to reduce some of the ale to a syrup. So begin by simmering 1 cup of the ale in a small saucepan for about 20 minutes. You want to end up with about 2 teaspoons of ale ‘extract’. Take the pan off of the heat and set it aside.
Line a 13 by 9 inch pan with parchment paper and butter the parchment.
Combine the rest of the beer, all the sugars, the butter, cream and corn syrup in a large pot. Cook over medium heat while stirring occasionally. The mixture will come to a boil. Continue to heat until a candy thermometer reaches 245°. This will take about a half an hour. You can test the readiness of your caramel by dropping a bit of it into a bowl of ice water. If it’s ready, it will form a small ball. When you have reached the correct temperature and consistency, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and the ale syrup. Carefully pour the caramel into your prepared pan. Sprinkle the top with the chopped pretzels and a little bit of sea salt. Let the caramel cool at room temperature for at least 3 hours before cutting. Wrap each caramel with parchment paper or saran wrap immediately when cut so that they will hold their shape.
So, what do you think my colleagues are doing for beer week?
Aaaah ha! I figured as much!!!
Here’s the more official rundown:
- Kirsten @ Comfortably Domestic: Welcome to Beer Week Intro
- Jeanne @ Inside Nana Bread’s Head: Chocolate Stout Cake with Caramel & Kahlua Whipped Cream
- Madeline @ Munching in the Mitten: Pumpkin Beer Bread
- Kat @ Tenaciously Yours: Gasthof’s Oktoberfest
- Lauren @ Climbing Greer Mountain: Pale Ale Shrimp Po’ Boy
- Megan @ Country Cleaver: Schnitzel and Dumplings
- Beka @ Kvetchin’ Kitchen: A Review of the Outlander Brewery
- Mads @ La Petite Pancake: Beer Battered Shrimp Tacos
- Allison @ Decadent Philistines: Spicy German Mustard, Ale Soaked Sweet Potato Oven Fries, and Maple Ale Ice Cream
- Kirsten @ Comfortably Domestic: Black and Tan Brownies
- Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama: Woodchuck Sweet Potato Bisque
- Katie @ The Hill Country Cook: Double Horn Brewery in Marble Falls, Texas
I’ve never seen beer take so many marvelous forms! What’s your pleasure? I’d love to taste a little bit of everything! So I hope you’ll come celebrate beer week with everyone! And stay tuned! I’ll be updating the links as the week progresses to make it easier for you to visit everyone! Cheers!
Recipe inspired by and adapted from Food Network.