Saturday, June 18, 2011

Super Easy Salted Goat Milk Caramels

I decided to make these beauties because my boyfriend was trying to get through his law school finals and needed a boost of sugar to get him through the long nights of studying. Making some cute, wrapped, homemade goodies really brightened his day! You can also make them and put them into cute boxes as gifts for friends and family, or even wedding favors!

Candy isn't the easiest thing to make, so I wanted to make a recipe that anyone could follow. Here are my "Super Easy Salted Goat Milk Caramels". For those than can't find goats milk, or would prefer to cows milk, the recipe will turn out just fine. I haven't tried almond or soy milk, but I think that would be an interesting chemistry experiment to see if they behave in the same way.

My inspiration to use goat milk happened when I noticed that Trader Joe's carries goats milk - once I had that tangy, clover infused, milky gold - I HAD to put it into a caramel. I prefer a bit of crunch so I roll course grain salt into the inner section of the caramel to get that oh-so-divine salty/sweet combination.

What you'll need

  • 2 cups Brown sugar
  • 1 cup White sugar 
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1.5 cup goats milk ( or milk of your choice ) 
  • 1.5 cups heavy cream 
  • 1.5 tbs vanilla
  • 1/2 tbs salt ( fine grain) 
  • Coarse grain salt to finish ( I ended up using Himalayan pink rock salt from Trader Joes )
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 Vanilla bean ( optional - cut lengthwise and scrape out the insides!) 
1) Prep a pot on the stove, and a baking dish for for pouring the caramel. I like to line my  baking dish with parchment ( much easier than trying to butter the dish, faster cleanup! )

2) Combine the sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, goat's milk, heavy cream, and butter in the pot on the stove. Mixing this mixture and heating it evenly is important to make the candy work.You'll notice that the mixture goes from looking like a frothy delicious caramel sponge to a slightly darker, with less bubbles mixture ( I use this as a guide to know that the temp is starting to get close )

3) Watch the temperature of the mixture with a candy thermometer while stirring. When the thermometer reaches 247 degrees remove the pot from the heat. Add the vanilla and stir.
WARNING! Do not let the temperature exceed 250 degrees F. ( 120 C) This is ceiling for the "firm ball" stage when cooking sugar. If the candy goes over this temp you could have problems with forming your caramels.  Please be careful when working with hot sugar. It might not look hot, but it is!

3) Pour the mixture from your pot into the lined or buttered baking pan ( 12X15 works best ) 

4) I let the mixture cool for about 5-7 min and then cut the caramel into 1in X 1in pieces. The caramel will still be warm to the touch and slightly gooey. I sprinkle pieces of coarse grain salt on the pieces and then roll them into balls and wrap in parchment to keep them from sticking together. 

5) Unwrap and enjoy!!


  1. They look so delicious! I love salted caramels and I'm excited to see how using goat milk works out! I will try making them soon :) Thanks for the recipe!

  2. I couldn't find a way to comment in the science section (maybe because I'm on my iPhone?) so bare with me! I looove the pics of the embryos. What are you using for your micro-photography? Sean works with nanoparticles to, what kind do you work with? Also, I love the caramels. My candy thermometer broke in the move but when I get a new one I'll make this recipe.

  3. A friend of mine introduced me to goat milk caramels and it's been on my mind to make ever since. They are in the pan cooling as we speak. Flavor is great. I hope I hope I didn't pull it too early and that they will set. If not, we have a delicious caramel sauce :).

  4. I'm excited to see how it turns out, Julie! Take some pictures and I'll post them :)

  5. Hi Sierra,
    Thanks for posting this! The flavor is incredible, but I'm new to working with hot sugar and had a few unexpected results, and also wasn't able to get the caramel to set. While heating, at around 225 degrees, the mixture expanded in volume 2-3x and it slightly overflowed the pot. I solved that by stirring faster, turning on the overhead fan, and blowing, but it stayed near the top. I was using a fairly inexpensive analog candy thermometer and took the mixture off the heat around 245 or 246, and at 5-7 minutes had a parchment lined cooking sheet of delicious smelling liquid. I live in DC, and it's fairly humid now, I was wondering if that could have an effect on the caramel setting? Everyone who has tasted the caramel raves about it, and I'm definitely up for trying it again, but am curious about your thoughts.

    1. Hi Adam,

      Thanks for trying the recipe, I'm glad to hear you are enjoying the flavor!

      A couple tips that might be helpful - I'd suggest using a larger pot the next time you make the caramel- it will give more room for it to expand. It does go through a stage of boiling that will expand the solution quite a bit, but as it heats up more, it will come down a little. Though, since you are in DC and the humidity gets high this is part of the problem - sugar attracts water so you may need to raise the overall temperature of your sugar mixture to achieve the same firmness.

      You don't need to worry too much about stirring when the sugar starts to boil, but if it keeps it in the pot, that's okay. You don't want to cool it too much around 225, try to let it come all the way up to about 247 degrees. Sugar is very sensitive to the temperatures it reaches and prematurely cooling it can cause a grainy texture (or it won't set properly ) because larger sugar crystals form too early. It will turn a lighter color when it boils up, but as you get closer to the correct temperature, the colution will darken several shades.

      Anywhere from 247-249 is fine. 250 is the ceiling for having a chewy, softer caramel. You can go over 250, but it's likely it will be more like a hard style caramel- 270 will make a "soft crack" caramel - you might need to go as high as 250-252 in high humidity conditions .

      I'd love to see some pictures of what you made :) Thanks for writing in, I look forward to hearing how your second batch goes!

    2. Hi Sierra, Thank you for the prompt and helpful response. I think the failure to set was caused by both the humidity and premature cooling, as I took it off the heat around 225 for a few minutes when it started to boil over the pot, and I think I finally pulled the mixture at 245. I also had to switch burners as the first burner on our stove seemed to max out at heating the solution to 230, so there was probably more temperature fluctuation than is ideal with sugar. I have another pot that should do the trick, and have upgraded my thermometer. I tried to find a way to upload photos, but couldn't, and didn't see an email address for you on the site. If you email me at adam(dot)sean(at), I will send you the pics I took so you can see the color (texture is a little misleading since the caramel was living in a Bonne Maman jar in the fridge). I'll keep you posted on batch no. 2.

    3. Thanks for letting us know about using goat's milk. I have only recently been taken off "dairy" but can have goat's milk and goat's butter. One suggestion to the person that was having problem with foaming over. One recipe I have tells you to stir it 1/6 at a time. (No need to measure, just eyeball it). This is done relatively quickly but the smaller portions lets you stir the cream/milk/butter down into it without it foaming over.

  6. Thank you for this recipe! Im hoping to pick up my milking goats(One is in milk) Next week so loving all these goat milk uses!

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  8. could you use all goats milk or is the heavy cream necessary? trying to be completely cow dairy free.

    1. You can give it a shot! It might not be as creamy and you may want to watch the temperature a little bit more. I'd love to hear how it turns out!

  9. This is my second time making these! They are absolutely amazing! Last time I didn't have a candy thermometer so I didn't get them quit hot enough so I had to store them in the fridge. This time they turned out perfect! Where do you store yours? Fridge or just an airtight container? Thanks!

    1. Hello! I prefer to store them in an airtight container once they're wrapped. It stops the sugar from collecting moisture. Glad you like them!