Brown Sugar Pistachio Caramels

These soft caramels get a delicious crunch and festive color from a sprinkling of chopped pistachios.

by Lori Rice
Brown Sugar Pistachio Caramels - Photo by Lori Rice (
Photo by Lori Rice

Make these caramels as a great bite-sized dessert to keep around the house for snacking or tucking into an Easter basket.

Yield: 25 caramels


  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup chopped unsalted pistachios, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. finely ground sea salt

Grease 8- by 8-inch baking pan with butter. In 3-quart heavy saucepan, combine sugars, butter, cream, corn syrup and water. Turn to medium heat, and gently stir until butter has melted and sugar has dissolved in liquid. Use natural-bristle pastry brush dipped in warm water to brush down any crystals that collect along inside of pan.

Place candy thermometer in syrup and let mixture come to boil. Do not stir. Let cook to 245 degrees F, or firm-ball stage. This can take up to 30 minutes.

Remove pan from heat. Reserve 2 tablespoons pistachios and add remaining to caramel. Add vanilla and sea salt, and stir until all ingredients are incorporated.

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Pour caramel into greased baking pan. Coat metal spatula in butter to evenly spread caramel into pan. Sprinkle reserved pistachios over caramels, and gently press them into candy.

Let cool completely, about 3 to 4 hours. As soon as caramels have cooled completely, lift caramel slab from pan using spatula. Place on cutting board and cut into 25 squares.

Wrap each caramel in 4½-inch square of wax paper, and twist to secure each end. Store in airtight container for up to 3 weeks.


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