So… this started out a recipe that I had intended to make as a surprise for Micheal for Thanksgiving. Someone had posted it in a food group that Chrissy runs on Facebook, and he had commented about how someone needed to make them for him. I had decided that I would… Then to find the time. Candy making is a precise science. So, I would need to give it my full attention. We have a very non-traditional Thanksgiving and this would have been a perfect addition.
I had it all planned out. I worked all week, late a couple of nights. But I squeezed in a trip to the grocery store for the ingredients. I had mapped out how I was going to get all the things that needed to be done for the day. There was just one little catch to my plan. Date night.
Way back in another lifetime. In the world of monogamy, I was a stay at home mom. I only had one thing to do. Take care of my one family. And I had nearly unlimited time to do so. Back in those days I often planned elaborate events. They were filled with lots of elaborate parts. For the most part I was able to put them all together. But now I have a full time job, this article, multiple partners and a bigger family. I tend to forget that time is not my friend anymore and think I can still do it all. Not that I ever could do it all.
Every Wednesday night is date night with one of my yummy sexy men. With the best of intentions, I planned to get up early and head home to get all the things I needed to get done done. But then, I realized something very important early on in my date night. I didn’t want to rush my time with him. We have very limited time together during the week and I loathed to cut any of it short. As the night moved on I started crossing things off the list that were not necessary, but were really just elaborate parts to an event that didn’t need to be elaborate.
It truly hit home to me that fostering this relationship with my partner was far more important than getting up early to make caramels. I also realised that by putting them on the back burner, it did not lessen anything between Michael and I. Micheal would enjoy and appreciate them no matter when I made them. And my relationship with my partner would grow and become stronger. If anything Michael has enjoyed them more knowing that I didn’t sacrifice time with a partner to make them. And I got them done just in time for Christmas.
Bourbon-Sea Salt Caramels
- Non Stick vegetable spray
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 2 tbsp bourbon
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- Flaky sea salt
- Candy thermometer
- Lightly coat an 8×8 baking pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2 inch overhang on 2 sides; spray parchment.
- Bring sugar, corn syrup, and ¼ cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until mixture turns a deep amber color, 15-20 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat and whisk in sweetened condensed milk and butter (mixture will bubble vigorously) until smooth. Fit pan with thermometer and return to medium-low heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until thermometer registers 245 degrees. Remove from heat and whisk in bourbon and kosher salt. Pour into prepared pan; let cool. Sprinkle caramel with sea salt, cut into ¾ inch pieces, and wrap individually in parchment paper.