If you like caramel macchiato coffee drinks, you will like this Foodie Friday candy.  It’s even better if you enjoy it with your favorite coffee drink!

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

Caramel Macchiato Candies (Prep. time: about 60 minutes <plus another hour to peel wrappers off 1 lb. caramel squares>) * New: Pain in the Backside Rating: 8 out of 10.

1 lb. caramel candy squares

¼ C. sweetened condensed milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tsp. espresso powder

1 bag chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet or a combination)

Place a metal baking sheet in the refrigerator or freezer to chill. Stir the espresso powder into the condensed milk.  In a medium glass bowl, microwave caramel candy, milk and vanilla for about 1 minute, stir.  Microwave another minute to minute and a half until the candy is melted. Stir to fully combine the caramel, milk, espresso and vanilla.  Pour onto the cold baking sheet (or sil-pat) and spread evenly about ¼ inch thick. (I found it easiest to put on food-service gloves and spread by hand.)  Return to the refrigerator to chill for about 20 minutes.  Pry the sheet of candy off the chilled baking pan and cut into squares with a pizza wheel.  The candy will keep sticking.  Just keep prying it up, piece by piece as you work.  Microwave the chocolate chips in a glass bowl for about 1 minute, stir and microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring until the chocolate reaches the desired consistency for dipping.  Put wax paper on another chilled baking sheet.  Dip caramels in the chocolate, using a fork to turn and lift the candy onto the lined sheet.  Return to the refrigerator to set for about 10 minutes.  The caramels will remain soft inside the chocolate and no longer stick to everything once the chocolate is set and can be kept at room temperature.

*P-I-T-B  Rating 8 out of 10 because this stuff really sticks to the bowl and the chilled sheet pan.  Even greasing wax paper didn’t help and it was hard to peel all the paper off the back of the candy slab.  Greasing the sheet alone didn’t really help either and there is concern the non-stick spray would impact the ability of the chocolate coating to stick.  The candy popped off the tray with a sturdy metal spatula and some muscle but had to be continually popped off as it was cut into squares with the pizza wheel (which, amazingly, it didn’t seem to stick to).  There were no more sticking issues once dipped into the chocolate and set on the wax paper-lined sheet.  Clean up of the bowl and utensils involves a lot of really hot water to melt the stuck caramel.

The candy isn’t hard to make, but you really have to be committed to put in the work.  The good news is, you can do it in stages: melt the candy & spread it.  Chill it for as long as you want before un-sticking it from the pan and cutting the squares.  Chill the squares as long as you want before melting the chocolate for dipping (keep in mind, you will still have to pop each square off the cookie sheet since they will stick again before the dip in milk or semi-sweet chocolate seals them.)