For some people, apple cider caramels are one of those essential fall things, conjuring up memories of past trips to orchards, fall festivals and such. I had actually never heard of them until a few years ago, but anything involving caramel is sure to pique my interest, and they certainly did intrigue me. Given that I already have another classic caramel recipe that I adore, I wasn’t immediately sold on the cider caramels. Mainly I wondered – can you actually taste the cider, or is it simply included to make it fall-appropriate? It is a pet peeve of mine when a recipe includes an ingredient simply for the sake of making it popular or seasonal. Each ingredient should have a purpose.
The only way to find out for sure was to try them, so try them I did. You start out with a full quart of cider and that is boiled down to a mere half cup or so. That, my friends…that is the key to the apple cider caramels. The flavor of all that cider is concentrated and then stirred in with the caramel mixture, with a touch of cinnamon to enhance its presence. I loved the final product, and now I understand the hype. Just one more thing for me to love about fall.