What if you could have a fanny pack with a secret stash of caramel flavor that you could just dust onto things like apple cider donuts, fold into apple pies, work into cake batter and sprinkle onto ice cream whenever you wanted? Now you can! Caramel significantly enhances everything from chocolate to apple to vanilla, making this Caramel Powder a great thing to have in your kitchen flavor arsenal, or your fanny pack. Caramel powder is just sugar, water, oil and salt brought up to an amber caramelization temperature of 345F (174C) on the Candy Temperature Chart. If you'd like a slightly deeper caramel flavor feel free to experiment with temperatures up to 375F (191C).
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons water
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a medium, heavy duty saucepan, add the sugar, water, coconut oil, salt and stir it together with clean fingers. Fill a large bowl that's bigger than your saucepan with ice water. This bowl of ice water serves two purposes: if you get burned by hot syrup you can dip your hand in the ice water. It will also be used to cool the hot saucepan after your caramel reaches it's final caramelization temperature. Bring the sugar mixture to a boil on high heat, covered, then remove cover. Reduce heat to medium. Do not stir the mixture because natural convection currents will do the stirring for you.
Insert a candy thermometer and bring the mixture up to 300F (149C). After 300F the temperature will rise rapidly. Once the mixture reaches 345F (174C), remove it from heat and dip the saucepan into the ice water for about 10 seconds to stop the caramelization process.
Pour the mixture onto the baking sheet and let it cool completely before breaking it into pieces.
Place the caramel pieces into a food processor and process into powder, about 3 minutes. If you'd like an extra fine powder, transfer this mixture to a spice grinder in small batches and grind.
Caramel Powder can be stored in an air tight container for up to six months. Makes about 1 cup.