Salted caramels are one of the most addictive snacks out there. Adding salt to sweet, buttery caramels creates just the right balance between sweet and salty and makes your mouth water (in a good way!) while eating them. I often buy these treats when I see them at stores, but it is not too difficult to make sea salt-topped caramels at home – and having a good from-scratch recipe means that you can have them any time you want! These Homemade Sea Salt Caramels are buttery caramels that are topped with a generous sprinkling of coarse sea salt. These are soft and chewy, with a nice balance of sweetness and salt. You will want a candy thermometer to ensure that you get good results, but this is a relatively easy homemade candy recipe that is definitely worth trying.
There is a small amount of salt in the caramels to flavor them, but I saved the sea salt in these caramels for the topping. Although some sea salt caramels will use sea salt in the caramel itself, I found that I didn’t notice a real flavor difference when I used the sea salt in the recipe. There is, however, a huge difference between putting table salt and coarse or flaky sea salt on top of these and it is worth getting the good stuff! Any coarse sea salt that you like will work well. I personally recommend flaky Maldon Sea Salt, which has a great flavor, excellent texture and a beautiful look.
Once the caramel is prepared, you can pour it into a 9×9 glass or pyrex baking dish. The 9×9 makes caramels of a nice thickness, but if you want to make your caramels smaller (or just make a lot more of them), you can also use a 9×13 pan and get thinner caramels. Do not forget to grease the pan with butter (or vegetable oil, though I recommend butter here) before adding the caramel! The first caramel may get slightly squished when you pry it out of the pan, but the caramels generally come out easily if you remove them immediately after slicing. Use a very sharp, warm (run under hot water and dried) knife for best results.