When we first moved into this apartment, there was a good month or two that our living room floor was almost completely covered in liquor bottles. We have A LOT of bottles. What can I say? When you have a buddy that stops by on the regular to make drinks, you gotta be fully stocked.
Plus, Mady works for Campari and Campari has a fully stocked portfolio of products. Products that Mady gets to stuff in her purse before she comes over to my place. No kidding...I think she lugged over 3 bottles last weekend. Sounds like a lot but when you are regularly celebrating negroni o'clock, it never hurts to have those backup bottles of Campari at the ready.
With a fresh bottle of Glen Grant in our hands, Mady and I decided to experiment with some Scotch whisky caramels. Glen Grant is a Speyside single malt that's just a bit fruity. Oh and they were good. Really good.
We did another batch with Auchentoshan, which is a nice and smokey single malt, and those were also really good. Use whatever sounds good to you. Obviously, you may want to pass on pouring that 21 Year Old single malt into a piece of CANDY, but you probably already knew that.
SCOTCH WHISKY SALTED CARAMELS (adapted from Smitten Kitchen's Apple Cider Caramels)
1 1/2 cups of scotch whiskey (Glen Grant and Auchentoshan are both good options)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, or less of a finer one
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
Neutral oil for the knife
Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch straight- sided square metal baking pan with 2 long sheets of crisscrossed parchment. Set it aside. Stir the cinnamon and flaky salt together in a small dish.
Bring the scotch to a simmer in a 3- to- 4- quart saucepan. Stir in the butter, sugars, and heavy cream. Turn the heat to medium-high with a candy thermometer attached to the side, and let it boil until the thermometer reads 252 degrees, only about 5 minutes. I use a regular digital kitchen thermometer for this, which works fine.
The temperature that the candy reaches before you turn off the heat will determine how hard your caramels are. For a proper, chewy caramel, try not to remove the pot from heat until the right temperature is reached - just be careful not to burn the sugar, which can happen pretty damn quick.
When the right temperature is reached, immediately remove the caramel from heat, add the cinnamon-salt mixture, and give the caramel several stirs to distribute it evenly. Pour caramel into the prepared pan. Let it sit until cool and firm—about 2 hours, or faster in the fridge. Once caramel is firm, transfer the block to a cutting board. Use a well-oiled knife to cut the caramel into 1-by-1-inch squares. Wrap each one in a 4-inch square of waxed paper, twisting the sides to close.