Yesterday I did drag myself to the store as I absolutely had to do; and I did make the second batch of caramels I wanted to test. These caramels were bourbon and vanilla bean. I didn't bother taking photos of the process, because one batch of caramel doesn't look that much different than any other (except the mauve thing).
What I wasn't thinking about in my zeal to try these caramels, was that eventually I was going to have to cut them. Two hours and four knives later, they're finally done. Just in time because I think my patience was about done, too.
The bourbon-vanilla bean caramels had to be poured into two 8" square pans because the Merlot caramels weren't ready to come out of the 9" x 13" yet. I tried to pour the caramel evenly between the pans, but one of them was slighted a bit which left me with some skinny caramels. I wanted to cut hearts like I did for Valentine's Day, but the caramel wasn't cooperating with that idea enough for me to pursue it beyond the three it begrudgingly gave up. These caramels were definitely the most difficult to cut of all the caramels I've made.
Until I tried cutting the Merlot caramels. These were just a bit softer than the bourbon-vanilla bean caramels so I thought since I had three bourbon-vanilla bean hearts, I'd cut three Merlot hearts. The first one attempted made it quite clear there would be no Merlot caramel hearts. The generously buttered cutter is still soaking. I managed to get about six squares cut before my thoughts started turning to caramel sauce. These things stuck to everything. I buttered the knife; they still stuck. I buttered the cutting board; they still stuck. I buttered my fingers; they still stuck.
Now while I thought cutting all of these caramels was a major pain in the posterior, you want to know what's even worse? WRAPPING THEM!!! I think I'll be buying some mini cupcake liners or candy cups or . . . something other than wrapping each and every one of these in little foil squares!
I still have more ideas for caramels. They're going to wait awhile. And I'm going to see how much a caramel cutter costs.