Chocolate Caramel Kisses

Chocolate Cashews

PREP TIME: 1 Hour
COOKING TIME: 20 Minutes
MAKES: 20

MAKE-AHEAD:

The chocolate caramel kisses can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/3 cups whole roasted salted cashews
Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray
7 ounces high-quality dark chocolate, chopped
Maldon or other flaky sea salt
 

To make the chocolate caramel kisses:

  1. In a heavy medium saucepan, stir the sugar and water over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves, occasionally brushing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to remove any sugar that clings to the side.
  2. Allow the sugar syrup to boil without stirring, brushing down the sides of the pan and swirling the pan occasionally to ensure it cooks evenly, for about 8 minutes, or until it begins to turn golden brown.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the cream. The caramel will bubble vigorously. Allow the caramel to cool and thicken slightly for 15 minutes. Toss the cashews through the slightly cooled caramel.
  4. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Lightly spray the parchment paper on one sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Using two spoons, drop spoonfuls of the caramel cashew mixture onto the sprayed baking sheet, forming about 20 small mounds. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes, or until the clusters are cold and the caramel becomes more firm but is still sticky and chewy.

To coat the chocolate caramel kisses:

  1. Meanwhile, place the chocolate in a small bowl and set the bowl over a small saucepan of barely simmering water and to slowly melt the chocolate, stirring often. Remove the bowl from over the saucepan.
  2. Using a small metal spatula, lift one cluster from the baking sheet and drop it into the melted chocolate to coat completely. Using a fork, immediately lift the cluster out of the chocolate and gently shake the excess chocolate back into the bowl.
  3. Using a second fork as an aid, place the chocolate-covered caramel cluster on the second prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle each cluster with just a few sea salt flakes. Repeat with the remaining clusters, melted chocolate, and salt.
  4. Refrigerate the chocolate caramel kisses for 10 minutes, or just until the chocolate is cold and set. Transfer the chocolate caramel kisses to a platter and serve.