The Most Wonderful Irish Cream Soft Caramels

irish cream soft caramels

Nothing says love like something sweet, especially if you made it yourself. And these Irish Cream Soft Caramels are just the thing to show people that you care, whether it’s for Valentine’s Day or any regular day. 

And yes, you can make your own caramels! Don’t be intimidated by the process. It’s fun and oh so deliciously rewarding!

irish cream soft caramels wrapped and placed in a candy box

What You Will Need

To make caramels, you will want a large pot and something heat-proof to stir the hot sugar. A nice, big saucepan is perfect. You will want the sides to be nice and high because the liquid bubbles up quite a bit and you don’t want it to risk boiling over. We like to use a silicone spatula like this one for stirring because it can withstand the heat and is non-stick, making everything so much easier.

You will also want a candy thermometer. This inexpensive tool takes a lot of the guesswork out of making candies such as caramel. This one made by Taylor is available at a number of stores that carry kitchen tools and works great for caramels. We highly recommend using it to make your Irish Cream Soft Caramels!

irish cream soft caramels being wrapped

Using A Candy Thermometer

To ensure accuracy, test your thermometer in boiling water before each use. Simply bring some water to a boil in a small pot, then insert the thermometer and wait for the temperature gauge to stop rising. It should settle at 212 degrees F, a constant for boiling water. (Note that this number is different if you live at a high altitude.) 

If your thermometer reading settles at another temperature, you will know that it is off by the number of degrees away from 212 that temperature is. For example, if in boiling water, my thermometer reads 214, I will know that when I make my caramels, I will know that the thermometer reads 2 degrees above the actual temperature of the liquid.

This reading can change regularly due to a lot of different factors, including the humidity in the room, air temperature, and atmospheric pressure. Those things can change daily, so double-check your thermometer before each use. Just a couple of degrees of difference can affect the texture of your finished caramels!

Irish Cream Soft Caramel close-up

The Flavor in Your Irish Cream Soft Caramels

Irish cream liqueur is what gives these caramels such a wonderful flavor. Much of the alcohol will burn away during the cooking process, but not all of it. (Read more about the science of cooking with alcohol in this article by Food Network.) 

If you are avoiding alcohol for any reason, look for an alcohol-free alternative like this Irish cream flavored coffee creamer. We do not recommend using a syrup, such as Torani flavored coffee syrup, because it has a much more concentrated flavor that wouldn’t work well in this recipe.

If you are using the liqueur, we highly recommend using Bailey’s. It’s what we used when testing this recipe and gives these caramels a truly amazing Irish cream flavor. 

irish cream soft caramels wrapped and piled into a candy box

Questions and Trouble-Shooting

Making caramels can be intimidating if you’ve never made them before, but it’s not terribly hard if you follow the directions closely. We want you to be successful, so we’ve included cues, tips, and specific instructions for you.

We know that questions come up all the time and we are here to help! Please reach out in the comments and we will answer any questions you have. We will also help you trouble-shoot if something goes wrong. 

irish cream soft caramels

More Outstanding Treats

We’ve got so many good treats for you to try. I’m pretty sure it’s our love language!

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irish cream soft caramels

Irish Cream Soft Caramels

These Irish Cream Soft Caramels are an explosion of flavor in a soft and chewy caramel that everyone will adore! (This recipe was inspired by Fleur de Sel Caramels in the book Sugarbaby by Gesine Bullock-Prado)
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Candy, Dessert, Gluten Free
Cuisine American, Irish
Servings 120 1/4-ounce pieces

Ingredients
  

  • 5 ounces (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) Irish cream liqueur, such as Bailey’s
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) heavy cream
  • 10-1/2 ounces (1-1/2 cups) granulated sugar
  • 8-1/4 ounces (3/4 cup) light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Instructions
 

  • Prep: Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper and spray it with cooking spray. Set aside nearby so that it is ready for you when the caramel is finished cooking.
  • Melt the Sugar: Combine the liqueur, heavy cream, granulated sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Heat the mixture and continue stirring until the sugar is completely melted. The mixture should look completely smooth, with no visible crystals, and shouldn’t feel gritty at all.
  • Heat the Caramel: Once the sugar has melted, raise the heat to medium and continue to stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Stop stirring and allow it to bubble away until the temperature reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer. (For a firmer caramel, allow the temperature to rise to 245 degrees F before moving on to the next step.)
  • Pour and Allow to Set: Immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter until it is fully melted and incorporated. Pour the caramel into your prepared pan quickly and without scraping the bottom of the pot. (Scrape the bottom and sides onto a heavily buttered plate to enjoy separately, as this portion will be much firmer thanks to longer contact with the hot pan.)
  • Cut and Wrap: Let the caramel sit until it cools enough to firm up. Cut it into small squares with a sharp knife or metal bench scraper, then wrap with parchment or waxed paper squares.

Notes

  • Completely cooled and wrapped caramels can be stored in an airtight container at cool room temperature for up to 3 weeks.
  • If you are avoiding alcohol, use an alcohol-free alternative such as Irish cream flavored coffee creamer. We do not recommend using a coffee syrup, which has a much more concentrated flavor and doesn’t work well in this recipe.
  • To wrap, cut 3-4 inch squares of parchment or waxed paper. Roll each caramel piece in the paper square, then carefully twist each end to full enclose.
Keyword candy, caramel
Tag @mealtimejoy on instagram if you made this recipe
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