Sea Salt Caramels
To get an accurate reading, gently swirl the thermometer through the mixture to stir it slightly, then hold it in the center. Do not leave the thermometer clipped to the bowl.
**To test for firm ball stage:
Shortly before reaching temperature, dribble a small spoonful of the hot mixture into a bowl of cold water. Using your fingers, form the mixture into a ball. Out of the water, it should hold its shape but will flatten quickly. If mixture is too soft, microwave for 1 minute more, then retest using a clean spoon and fresh water.
They’re delicious on their own, but they play well with flavor variations—when you stir in the vanilla, consider adding a teaspoon of orange zest or a half-cup of finely chopped walnuts, dried apple or pretzels.