Sesame Salted Caramels

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Well, we made it back from vacation.  I am truly grateful we got the chance to unwind now that things are so chaotic. How are you all doing?  Being back in Washington has been a little scary, since our state had the first major Covid-19 outbreak in the US. I’ve never really experienced anything like this, so I waver these days between panic and reminding myself to get a grip. Now that we’re home, I don’t plan on leaving the house much at all if I can help it.  I am on immunosuppressants and having Lupus I’m pretty sure puts me in that “underlying condition” group.  :/. I’m trying to see this as an opportunity to do more cooking and baking (and let’s be honest, making more cocktails).  Not sure what it says about me that the first item I thought we needed to stock up on was not toilet paper, but butter (a girl’s gotta bake, lol!).

I’ve been working on perfecting these caramels since before our trip.  The first time I made them, they were like the hardest toffee you’ve ever had, rather than chewy caramels.  Then all of the sesame seeds were rising to the top, which was pretty but not what I was going for.  I figured out how to solve that and a few other issues, so now I can share it with you!

Let’s get to it!

You’ll start by greasing an 8” square pan. Pour a few drops of sesame oil in the pan and rub it in with a paper towel.   

Now cut some parchment paper and put that in the pan and then grease the paper.  This may seem like overkill, but this stuff is sticky and you want to be able to get it out!

Pour the sesame seeds in a small bowl and mix them together.  If you’re not able to find black sesame seeds, just use a cup of the white. 

Now add the butter, sesame oil, sugar, heavy cream, water, corn syrup, and table salt to a pan.  I would use one that is at least 5 quarts.  I used a 3 1/2 quart the first time I made this and ended up getting caramel all over our stovetop because it bubbled over.  You want lots of room for the mixture to boil.

Cook the mixture over medium-low heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. 

Turn the heat up to medium and continue cooking.  At this point it will start boiling. 

Stir the mixture occasionally and keep cooking it until it’s golden in color and reaches 245-250 degrees. This will take between 18 and 25 minutes. 

Once it’s done, turn off the heat and add the sesame seeds and vanilla extract. 

Stir it all together until the seeds are evenly dispersed.

Now pour the caramel into your prepared pan.  Let it sit for about 5 minutes.  Then sprinkle with your flake salt.  You want to wait a few minutes to do this, so it doesn’t just sink in, and stays on top.  

Let the caramel cool and set for about 2 hours,  Once it’s set, take it out of the pan and put it on a cutting board.  Cut the slab into individual pieces. 

I cut wax paper into pieces and wrapped each caramel.  I have to admit, I found it oddly meditative and calming.  I liked the look of the wrapped caramels and I’ll be honest, I figured having to unwrap each one would prevent me from stuffing my face too much. It’s also a nice touch if you ever want to make these for gifts.  If you don’t want to take the time to wrap them, just put them on a dish with parchment that can be covered.

These caramels are so delicious!  If you like salted caramels, you’re going to be in heaven.  The sesame seeds give them a slightly savory note that adds such a depth of flavor.  The seeds also provide a nice crunchy texture.  So good!

I hope you’re all hanging in there and staying safe and healthy!



Sesame Salted Caramels
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  • 11 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup white sesame seeds
  • 1/2 black sesame seeds
  • Flake salt or other coarse salt


  1. Grease an 8” square pan with a few drops of sesame oil.  Put parchment paper in the pan and grease that.
  2. Mix black and white sesame seeds in a small bowl.
  3. Add butter, sesame oil, sugar, heavy cream, water, corn syrup, and table salt to a pan at least 5 quarts in size.
  4. Cook over medium-low until butter has melted and sugar has dissolved.  
  5. Increase heat to medium and continue cooking until it’s golden in color and reaches 245-250 degrees, 18-25 minutes. 
  6. Turn off heat and add sesame seeds and vanilla extract.  Stir until the seeds are evenly dispersed.
  7. Pour caramel into prepared pan.  
  8. Let it sit 5 minutes.  Sprinkle with flake salt. 
  9. Cool about 2 hours, or until set.  
  10. Remove from pan and cut into pieces. Individually wrap each piece or put them on a dish with parchment that can be covered.

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