Salted Squash Caramels

The less than sustainable version of this recipe won accolades as the 2010 Best Halloween Treat on the curated food website, Food52.com. This version nixes the processed white sugar and corn syrup. The caramels are still very tasty but only keep for 2-3 days. If you need them to be more stable for longer, swap half of the maple syrup with an equal amount of light corn syrup.
By / Photography By Jennifer Bakos | December 30, 2016

Ingredients

  • ⅔ cup unsalted pepitas
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup butternut squash puree
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cups organic sugar
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¾ teaspoon flaky sea salt

Preparation

Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square pan with parchment. Butter the parchment on the sides of the pan. Dry toast the pepitas in a skillet over medium heat until they start to pop. Spread them evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan.

Combine cream, squash puree, cinnamon and ginger in a small saucepan and warm over low heat.

In a heavy-bottomed pan, at least 6 inches deep, combine sugar, syrup, and ¼ cup of water. Place the pan over medium high heat. Stir mixture until the sugar is melted. Dip a heat-safe pastry brush in warm water to brush any sugar granules off the sides of the pan to prevent them from crystallizing. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Boil until caramel reaches 280°. Very carefully stir in the cream mixture.

Ingredients

  • ⅔ cup unsalted pepitas
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup butternut squash puree
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cups organic sugar
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¾ teaspoon flaky sea salt
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