A couple of weeks ago, Holly posted instructions for making caramels for someone you like. Since two people I like had recent birthdays and since making fleur de sel caramels is one of my 31 Before 31 activities, I took myself down to Target to buy heavy cream and a candy thermometer.
Except Target did not have a candy thermometer. So I took myself to Michael's only to discover that candy thermometers are, like, twenty bucks. And so I almost decided to scrap the entire project, unwilling to pay twenty bucks for a thermometer I would likely use only once ever in my lifetime, except that I completely adore my friends and very much wanted to make them the caramels to celebrate their special days. And, also, an employee gave me a forty percent off coupon.
And then I went home to make caramels.
Except, once I arrived home, I realized that I didn't have an 8x8 baking pan. I have two 8-inch round pans and a 9x13 pan and an 8x12 pan and several muffin tins, but zero 8x8 pans. So I walked myself over to the grocery store to buy a set of disposable pans in the correct dimensions.
And then I made the caramels.
And they were fabulous.
I cannot explain to you why I can barely cook an egg, why the simplest of recipes elude me, why all things domestic are best left to somebody else, yet the caramels came out perfectly soft and chewy and delicious. I think it was because, heeding Holly's warning that an excellent sense of timing is required, I watched that candy thermometer like a hawk until it reached precisely the correct temperature. I dramatically reported every degree increase to Will (244 degrees! 245 degrees! 246 degrees! We are almost there! Get ready! Where did I put the baking pan? OMG! 247 degrees! They are on the verge of being ruuiiiined! Help! 248 degrees!).
I'd even venture to say that they were easy, but I don't want to upset the candy Gods, especially considering that I am SO making another batch. In fact, I am so impressed with the fact that I actually made candy and that it actually worked out, that EVERYONE is getting birthday caramels from here on out.
Plus, I gotta get my $12 worth out of that candy thermometer.