Everyone needs a little sugar now and again. These plant-based caramels feature our favorite fall fruit (yes, fruit!), pumpkin. Finish with melted Vega® Maca Chocolate and some coarse sea salt and you’ve got yourself one very special treat!
Yield: 64 caramels, depending on size
*Warning – Use caution when working with hot sugar
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1½ cups canned coconut milk, thick cream only
- ⅔ cup pumpkin purée
- ½ tsp each nutmeg, cinnamon, and ground ginger
- 2 cups raw, evaporated cane sugar (Coconut sugar will not work as a substitute in this recipe. Trust us—we tried!)
- ½ cup agave
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup water
- 4 Tbsp coconut oil
- ½ lemon, juiced
- ¾ tsp coarse salt (sea salt, fleur de sel, or Himalayan pink salt)
- Optional: 2 melted bars of Vega® Maca Chocolate
Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square pan (or a cookie sheet) with parchment paper. Using 1 teaspoon of coconut oil, grease the parchment paper thoroughly.
In a saucepan, combine coconut milk, pumpkin and spices. Get mixture warm, but not boiling.
In a second heavy-bottomed pan, with sides at least 4 inches high, combine sugar, agave, maple syrup, and water. Stir until the sugars are melted. Then let it boil until it reaches 244 degrees on a candy thermometer.
Slowly and carefully pour cream mixture into sugar. Slowly bring mixture to 240°F on a candy thermometer (this can take a while). Don’t leave the kitchen—keep a close eye on the pot. Stir constantly.
As soon as the mixture reaches 240°F pull it off the heat and stir in coconut oil and lemon juice. Mix vigorously so the coconut oil is fully incorporated.
Pour mixture onto lined pan. Let cool 30 minutes and sprinkle with salt. Let caramels fully set at least 2 more hours before using a hot knife to cut them into 1-inch squares and wrapping them with waxed paper.
Optional: If using Vega® Maca Chocolate, let caramels set completely before drizzling with chocolate and top with salt after.