Festival Salted Caramel Crunch Recipes

Are you looking for the perfect sweet and salty snack to bring along to festivals, fairs, and parties? Crunchy, crispy salted caramel treats are always crowd-pleasers! The combination of smooth, rich caramel and flakes of sea salt is simply irresistible.

In this beginner’s guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to make incredible festival salted caramel crunch recipes. First, we’ll go over the basics of salted caramel – how to make it from scratch and tips for getting that ideal texture. Next, we’ll share plenty of ideas, tips, and tricks for taking salted caramel to the next level with different mix-in options. Finally, we’ve included 8 drool-worthy festival salted caramel crunch recipes that are sure to be a hit!

So let’s get cooking up some sweet and salty crunchy goodness! These salted caramel treats are perfect for bringing along to state fairs, music festivals, and anywhere people gather to celebrate.

Salted Caramel 101 – Getting the Basics Right

Before we start layering on all kinds of tasty mix-in ingredients, let’s go over some salted caramel basics. Making your caramel base from scratch and getting the right consistency is key for all salted caramel recipes.

First, you’ll want to gather a few key ingredients – sugar, butter, cream, and salt. The ratios vary slightly depending on recipes, but generally you’ll combine sugar, butter, and cream over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Then, you boil the mixture until it turns a nice amber color and reaches the hard crack stage (300°F to 310°F). Finally, you stir in salt to taste.

Here are some tips for salted caramel success:

  • Use a heavy-bottomed saucepan for even heating. Stainless steel works well.
  • Stir constantly on low heat until the sugar fully dissolves. This prevents burning.
  • Swirl the pan rather than stirring once boiling to prevent crystallization.
  • Carefully watch the temperature. Amber colored, slightly thickened caramel is perfect.
  • Pull it off the heat when it’s just a shade lighter than you want as it will continue cooking.
  • Allow it to cool slightly before adding salt and any mix-ins.

Getting the basics right is crucial, so don’t rush the process! Once you master the simple salted caramel recipe, it’s easy to adapt it by adding all kinds of delicious mix-in ingredients.

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Endless Mix-In Ideas for Incredible Salted Caramel Crunches

Salted caramel on its own is pretty irresistible, but when you add complementary flavors and textures into the mix, it goes to a whole new level! From nuts and chocolate to cookies and candy, the possibilities are endless.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds make for classic mix-in options that add fabulous crunch. You can’t go wrong with:

  • Roasted almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pecans or cashews
  • Roasted pistachios or hazelnuts
  • Pepitas
  • Pine nuts
  • Sliced or slivered almonds

Toast or roast nuts beforehand for the most flavor and crunch. Allow cooked caramel to cool slightly before stirring in.

Granola, Cereal and Cookies

For fun flavors and extra bite, mix in your favorite granolas, cereals and crumbled up cookies like:

  • Granola (regular or salted caramel flavored)
  • Corn flakes
  • Crispy rice cereal
  • Crushed up pretzels
  • Wheaties
  • Graham cracker crumbs
  • Broken up cookies (gingersnaps, Oreos)

The options here are endless – get creative! Just avoid anything overly soft.

Sweet and Salty Candy

For an extra hit of sweetness and saltiness, candy mixes make delicious additions. Think:

  • Crushed salted pretzels
  • Mini pretzel twists or sticks
  • Salted peanuts
  • Potato stick chips
  • Crumbled bacon (trust us, it’s amazing!)
  • Crushed up popcorn

The sweet and salty flavor combo can’t be beat.

Festival Salted Caramel Crunch Recipes

Chocolate and Cocoa

What’s better than salted chocolate caramel? Not much! Mix in chocolate in forms like:

  • Chocolate chips
  • Shaved chocolate
  • Cocoa nibs
  • Granulated cocoa powder
  • Melted chocolate

The chocolate magnifies the sweetness and richness of the caramel beautifully.

With so many tempting options, it’s tough to choose just one mix-in ingredient. So why not combine a few? Nut lovers might enjoy almonds and chocolate chips. Pretzel fans will flip for crushed pretzels and peanuts. You really can’t fail when it comes to salted caramel crunch mix-ins.

Tips and Tricks for Crunchy, Crispy Texture

A good salted caramel snack needs to have the perfect crunch factor. Otherwise, it ends up being a bit of a sticky, gooey mess that just doesn’t satisfy. Use these tips to achieve crunchy success:

1. Cool it Down

Heating up nuts, crunchy cereals and other mix-ins in piping hot liquid caramel almost guarantees a soggy snack. Always allow your caramel to cool down quite a bit before adding any temperature sensitive mix-ins. Aim for a very thick syrupy texture before stirring everything together.

2. Get Out the Baking Sheets

After thoroughly combining a thick, cooled down caramel with your crunchy mix-ins, spread the mixture out evenly onto parchment paper lined baking sheets. Avoid clumping. Spreading it out ensures even, fast cooling and crisping.

3. Let Nature Take its Course

Have patience and give your salted caramel snack time to completely cool and fully harden at room temperature. This helps create a nice, uniform crispy texture. Resist the urge to try to quick chill it in the freezer as this leads to condensation.

4. Break it Up

Once cooled and hardened, break your salted caramel crunch up into pieces rather than cutting it. This helps maintain that light, crispy texture. Store the pieces in an airtight container at room temperature.

Follow those tips, and you’ll have fabulously crispy, crunchy clusters and brittles that stay fresh for up to 2 weeks. Now that’s something worth celebrating at your next festival or gathering!

Sweet and Salty Caramel Popcorn Clusters

Let’s get to the good stuff – the recipes! We’ll start out with these incredible sweet and salty caramel popcorn clusters. They have that perfect sweet and salty balance plus fabulous crunch from the toasted pecans and popped corn.

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups freshly popped popcorn
  • 1 1⁄2 cups toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1⁄2 cup butter
  • 1⁄2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1⁄2 tsp baking soda
  • Flaky sea salt, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Spread out popcorn in a single layer on baking sheets; bake for 15 minutes. Allow to slightly cool then transfer to a very large bowl.
  2. Make the caramel by combining brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and condensed milk in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat; quickly stir in vanilla and baking soda until light and foamy.
  4. Working very quickly, pour hot caramel over popcorn and pecans; rapidly stir to coat.
  5. Pour onto parchment paper lined baking sheets; spread out evenly. Allow to fully cool before breaking into clusters. Just before serving, sprinkle lightly with flaky sea salt to taste.

These sweet, crunchy popcorn clusters make for perfect festival-worthy salted caramel snacks. The toasted pecans and popcorn provide fabulous crunch while the gooey caramel and hint of saltiness take them over the top.

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Salted Maple Walnut Brittle

Here’s another classic salty-sweet treat that’s incredibly easy to whip up. Walnuts coated in sweet maple syrup caramelized to a crisp makes for the ultimate fair food. A kiss of sea salt ties all those wonderful fall flavors together.

Ingredients:

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1⁄2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1⁄4 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1 tsp flaky sea salt

Instructions:

  1. Line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper; lightly coat with nonstick spray.
  2. Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook without stirring until it turns a light amber color. This should take 4-5 minutes.
  3. Remove pan from heat and carefully stir in maple syrup and butter. The mixture will foam up. Return the pan to low heat and simmer, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes until combined and slightly thickened.
  4. Remove from heat; mix in walnuts. Quickly pour onto the prepared baking sheet. Allow to slightly cool for just 1 minute.
  5. Using a heatproof spatula, spread into an even layer. Sprinkle evenly with the sea salt.
  6. Allow to cool completely before breaking into pieces. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

The sweet maple pairs beautifully with the crunch walnuts in this classic brittle. It’s easy to make and perfect for gifting or bringing along to autumn fairs and festivals.

Festival Salted Caramel Crunch Recipes

Salted Peanut Chocolate Clusters

Chocolate and salted peanuts make just about the most perfect flavor combination ever. When you coat them in sweet, salty, buttery caramel, they become downright addictive! These clusters come together fast, but taste like you spent hours on them.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup salted, dry roasted peanuts
  • 3⁄4 cup white sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup brown sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup butter
  • 1⁄4 cup corn syrup
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • Flaky sea salt for topping

Instructions:

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Evenly fold in the peanuts; spread onto the baking sheet. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes to set.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine white and brown sugars, butter, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once boiling, stop stirring and allow to cook undisturbed for 3 minutes until light amber colored.
  3. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in condensed milk. Mix in vanilla. Allow to slightly cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Working quickly, spoon caramel over the chilled chocolate in small dollops; smooth gently to evenly coat. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Allow clusters to fully set before serving.

These sweet, salty, nutty chocolate clusters definitely deliver on that crispy crunch factor. They make perfect portable snacks for potlucks, parties and festivals.

Caramel Cornflake Candy Bars

Buttery caramel coated cornflakes pressed firmly together into snack bars makes for some seriously shareable festival fare. Quick and easy to make but so satisfying!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cornflakes cereal
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 3⁄4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1⁄2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Flaky sea salt for topping

Instructions:

  1. Lightly coat an 8×8 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine cornflakes and marshmallows; set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine brown sugar, corn syrup, peanut butter and butter. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes, continuing to stir constantly.
  3. Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour caramel mixture over the cornflakes and marshmallows; rapidly stir together until evenly coated.
  4. Quickly transfer mixture into the prepared baking pan, pressing down very firmly using a heatproof spatula or spoon to compact tightly.
  5. Allow candy to fully cool before cutting into bars. Just before serving, sprinkle lightly with sea salt.

These crispy, crunchy bars make for fabulous fair food. Thanks to the compacted cornflakes, they travel well in lunches and snack bags too. The sweet and salty peanut butter caramel complements the crispy cereal perfectly.

Loaded Salted Caramel Pretzel Candy

Here’s a sweet and salty candy lovers dream. Soft chewy pretzels get taken up a notch when coated in gooey salted caramel, chocolate and all kinds of tasty mix-ins. Make them for your next game day party or trip to the fair.

Loaded Salted Caramel Pretzel Candy

Ingredients:

  • 10 mini twisted pretzels
  • 8 oz prepared caramel sauce, warmed
  • 1 1⁄2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
  • Optional toppings: chopped salted peanuts, toffee bits, crushed Oreos, sprinkles, coarse sea salt

Instructions:

  1. Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper. Dip each pretzel halfway into the warm caramel to coat, allowing excess to drip off. Place on the prepared baking sheet as you work.
  2. Drizzle the melted chocolate over each pretzel to coat evenly. Decorate immediately with any desired toppings, pressing gently to adhere.
  3. Transfer sheet to the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set. Store fully chilled in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Though quick and easy, these loaded salted caramel chocolate pretzels look and taste like you fussed! Feel free to customize with your favorite mix-ins. The sweet and salty flavors will wow anyone with a sweet tooth.

 

Sea Salted Honeycomb Toffee Bars

Honeycomb toffee twisted up into tasty snack bars makes for supremely shareable salted caramel snacks. Made from basic pantry ingredients but destined to impress any toffee lover!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1⁄2 cups sugar
  • 3 tbsp corn syrup
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1⁄4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1⁄2 tsp flaky sea salt

Instructions:

  1. Line a 8×8 inch baking pan with foil, extending over edges for easy lift out. Lightly coat foil with nonstick spray.
  2. In a medium saucepan, stir together the sugar, corn syrup, butter and honey until combined. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture is light golden brown.
  3. Remove pan from heat. Slowly stir in condensed milk until fully incorporated; mixture will foam up. Mix in baking soda and salt until combined and foamy.
  4. Quickly pour mixture into the prepared pan, spreading evenly with a heatproof spatula. Allow to slightly cool at room temperature just until starting to set.
  5. Using the foil handles, lift from the pan before completely set and hard. Transfer onto a cutting board. Place in fridge for 30 minutes to finish cooling and setting up.
  6. When firm, cut into bite size bars or break up into chunks. Store chilled for up to 2 weeks.

Crunching into these crispy sea salted honeycomb toffee bars reveals layers of crackly, creamy, buttery goodness studded with caramelized sugar. A best bet for your next bonfire, festival or fair!

Easy Salted Caramel Sauce

We’ve covered all kinds of fabulous salted caramel snacks. But this quick and easy homemade salted caramel sauce deserves a spot in your recipe arsenal too. Perfect for drizzling over everything from apple pie to ice cream, it takes just minutes to prepare.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions:

  1. Combine sugar and heavy cream in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture begins simmering and sugar fully dissolves.
  2. Stir in butter pieces until melted and sauce is smooth. Remove pan from heat and mix in sea salt.
  3. Allow sauce to slightly cool for 10 minutes before serving. Store covered in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. Gently re-warm before using as needed.

With just 15 minutes and 4 ingredients, you can have delicious homemade salted caramel sauce ready to top off all your sweet and salty treats in style.

Wrapping Up Our Sweet and Salty Journey

We hope you enjoyed this beginner’s guide to crafting all kinds of drool-worthy festival salted caramel crunch recipes. From sweet and salty popcorn clusters to sea salted toffee bars, the options for taking salted caramel mixes over the top are practically endless. Savor the excitement as you boil, bake and candy your way to snacktime success!

With some simple tips for preparing caramel and achieving crunch factor, it’s easy to come up with your own fab creations too. Get creative with the mix-ins! The sweet-salty flavor combo lends itself perfectly to celebrations and gatherings.

Here’s to all the summer fairs, autumn festivals and year-round potlucks made a little sweeter with your homemade salted caramel treats. Happy crunching.

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