And, then I made fruit-flavored candy.
Look, the time changed. I didn't.
Apple Cider Caramels
The basic idea here: Concentrate fresh cider into the most flavorful sweet-tart-apple-y syrup stuff you can imagine. OMG already, right? Then, add butter and sugar and cream. And, because it's exactly what these need to be perfect, just top that off with a little cinnamon and flaky sea salt. These chewy, intense little bites of Fall are rich and tangy and sweet and salty all at the same time and I loved them.
I'm not going to post the recipe, because I simply followed the original, from Deb of SmittenKitchen, to a tee without adapting a thing. It is available online here and also in her wonderful cookbook*. The most important two things about making these are to let the apple cider really boil down (mine took nearly an hour), and to let the caramel cook to the firm ball stage (about 250 degrees) so the candy will have that perfect soft caramel texture.
* The reminder to give these a try came from a lovely recent post over on Annie's Eats. (I used a few of my extra minutes to browse the web, too.) She actually baked her version of Deb's caramels into brown butter sugar cookies. Damn. If only I had another 30 minutes....