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Bourbon Maple Salted Caramels

Bourbon Maple Salted Caramels are a perfect holiday gift for anyone who craves sweet and salty.

Traditional salted caramels are enhanced with the flavors of bourbon, maple syrup, and vanilla beans.

Bourbon Maple Salted Caramels

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Making homemade caramels has been a tradition in our house for at least five years now.

It is something that the kids and I really look forward to because we love eating them!

I have a special weakness for things salty and sweet and these Bourbon Maple Salted Caramels are the perfect combination of sweet and salty.

I think I need a bit of saltiness with my sweet to balance things out.

Salted caramels are one of my most favorite treats, so several years ago I decided that I needed to learn how to make them myself.

Making caramels might sound tricky.

At first I was intimidated too.

Making candies can seem a lot more complicated than baking cookies when you start talking about candy thermometers and cooking your caramel to the right temperature.  

Maybe you’ve tried before and haven’t had good luck with them.

Making Candy at High Altitudes

The trick is to know the elevation for where you live and then factor that into the instructions for this Bourbon Maple Salted Caramels recipe (or any other caramel recipe).

Because, if you’re wondering does altitude affect candy making?, the answer is YES.

Living significantly above sea level will result in hard candy rather than soft, chewy caramels if you don’t adjust the temperature in the recipe. 

For best results, you are definitely going to want to adjust the recipe for these Bourbon Maple Salted Caramels.

How to Adjust Candy Recipes for High Altitude

With higher altitudes you are going to bring the final cook temperature up lower if you live above sea level to achieve the same soft, chewy caramels.

Conversion Instructions for High Altitude Candy Making

  • Subtract 2 degrees off the final cook temperature for every 1,000 feet above sea level that you live.

For example, I live at 5,000 feet above sea level.

I will multiple 2 degrees x 5 = 10 degrees lower temperature for the cook time when making these Bourbon Maple Salted Caramels.

Bourbon Maple Salted Caramels

Save this recipe for Bourbon Maple Caramels to Pinterest!

They can be finicky if you aren’t paying attention.

My first time making this recipe I got distracted by a little sibling squabble that happened at the most inopportune moment and, unfortunately, the caramel got too hot, which then ruined the entire batch.

If you’d like you can eat these Bourbon Maple Caramels as is, or you can dip them in tempered chocolate.

Just melt your favorite chocolate low and slow over a double boiler (keeping the chocolate temperature under 90 degrees F) and dip the cooled caramel squares in the chocolate.

Homemade candies, like these Bourbon Maple Salted Caramels, are perfect for sweet gifts this holiday season.

For more ideas, try some of these candy recipes:

More Christmas Candies for Homemade Gifting

For classic chocolate covered caramels, try these Chocolate Covered Vanilla Fleur de Sel Caramels.

Do you know someone who loves chocolate paired with peppermint?

This Triple Chocolate Candy Cane Hot Cocoa Bark would be a hit with them!

Dark chocolate pairs white chocolate, milk chocolate chips, marshmallows, and mini candy canes in this Candy Cane Hot Cocoa Bark for a fun holiday treat.

Gingerbread Caramels are a fun twist on a classic caramel recipe. Caramel pairs awesomely with hints of molasses and ginger.

For the bacon lover in your life, try this super easy Black Pepper Candied Bacon.

Dark Chocolate Turtle Pretzel Bark is a fun treat for kids to help make for a teacher gift. 

Classic Pecan Christmas Turtles meet Dark Chocolate Bark with the crunchy, salty addition of mini pretzels for a delicious sweet and salty Christmas candy treat.

Chocolate Raspberry Vanilla Bean Marshmallows are a great gift paired with homemade cocoa mix and a fun new mug.

You can never go wrong with another recipe for chocolate bark.

Try this Bittersweet Chocolate Swirl Fruit and Nut Bark.

Bittersweet chocolate, white chocolate, almonds, raspberries, strawberries, pumpkin and chia seeds combine for a delectable and colorful holiday treat.

Homemade Chocolate Dipped Candy Cane Marshmallows are easy to make!

Pair a bag of these goodies with a mug or hot cocoa mix for an inexpensive (and yummy) holiday gift.

Do you like making candied nuts?

Cinnamon Vanilla Glazed Walnuts and Sweet and Spicy Rosemary Bar Nuts are both simple to make and nice additions to a candy and nut gift box.

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Tips to Prepare for a Fun Winter Break with Kids - Bourbon Maple Salted Caramels

Bourbon Maple Salted Caramels

Yield: 1 9x13 pan of caramels
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes

Bourbon Maple Salted Caramels are a perfect holiday gift for anyone who craves sweet and salty. Traditional salted caramels are enhanced with the flavors of bourbon, maple syrup, and vanilla beans.


  • 2 cups Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 cup Bourbon
  • 10 tablespoons Butter
  • 2 whole Vanilla Beans, split down the middle from end to end
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 cup Maple Syrup
  • 2 teaspoons Sea Salt
  • Maldon Flake Salt, for garnish (if desired)


  1. Prepare a 9x13 inch baking pan by lining it with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream, bourbon, butter, and whole vanilla beans (split them down the middle from end to end).
  3. Cook over medium heat until the butter has melted, then turn to low heat and simmer for 10 minutes to let the vanilla beans infuse into the cream mixture.
  4. Discard the vanilla beans.
  5. Meanwhile, combine the water, brown sugar, granulated sugar, maple syrup and sea salt in a large saucepan.
  6. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil, without stirring but gently swirling pan, until mixture is a light golden caramel and sugar is dissolved.
  7. Carefully stir in the cream mixture (mixture will bubble up) and simmer over medium low heat, stirring frequently, until caramel registers 248°F on thermometer, 15 - 20 minutes.
  8. Pour into the prepared baking pan.
  9. Sprinkle the top with Maldon salt, if desired, and cool 2 hours.
  10. Remove caramels from pan and cut into 1 inch pieces, set aside.
  11. Store in an airtight container.


Above Sea Level Instructions

Before you start this project you will also need find out what your elevation is and adjust the temperatures accordingly.

  • For every 1,000 feet above sea level, you will need to subtract 2 degrees from the final cook temperature.
  • For example, I live at 5,000 ft. above sea level, so I subtract a total of 10 degrees from the temperature indicated in the recipe, cooking until the candy thermometer reaches 238 degrees F.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 39 Serving Size 3 - 1x1 inch square
Amount Per Serving Calories 118Total Fat 7gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 22mgSodium 152mgCarbohydrates 12gFiber 0gSugar 11gProtein 0g offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

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