If I had to choose a desert island dessert, it might very well be these caramels. Chocolate would momentarily tempt me, ice cream refreshes like no other, and a life without citrus would make me weep with despair, but a good caramel is dependably decadent in a way that I never tire of. An exceptional caramel is robust, sweet but not cloying, chewy, with a good pull to it, but never too firm, and dotted with just enough salt to keep me wanting more. Lucky for me, these hit the mark on all fronts, and are surprisingly simple to prepare (at least compared to most candy recipes, and for that matter, other caramel recipes).
I’ve always liked Hot Tamales, and made an almost daily (at least during the school-week) snack of them in high school. Likewise, I’m a fan of cotton candy, although I can’t recall ever purchasing it packaged like this; my memories consist of its freshly spun counterpart either in a clear plastic bag or on a paper cone at a fair or sporting event. Cinnamon is appealing to me both in its natural form (I go through ground cinnamon far more rapidly than any other spice) and as an artificial candy flavor.