Red Stag Bourbon Caramels

Talk about happy accidents.

These chocolate covered bites of heaven were the result of an –Oh My God I have run myself out of Vanilla and Crap Crap Crap the caramel is done cooking…God Help I need something to flavor it what can I USE Oh Thank the Lord there’s some Red Stag – moment.

Don’t act like you’ve never had one of those moments.


carm3Red Stag is made by the Jim Beam Company…and you know how much I love Beam in my cooking.  I picked up this bottle of Red Stag when we visited the Beam Distillery in Kentucky, and luckily, I had enough left to make these caramels.  Red Stag is actually a flavored bourbon…it has been infused with Cherry.  Perfect for a subtle kick to an otherwise standard caramel candy.

I thought about just wrapping these plain caramels in parchment and calling it a day, but I had a bag of dark chocolate Ghirardelli chips, so I HAD to cover them.  Had to.

Thank goodness for that.

They are soft, and sweet, and chocolatey…made even better by a small sprinkle of fleur de sel on the top of each bite.  Yum.

These goodies will last a month or more (yeah, right) if kept store in the refrigerator or an airtight container, so don’t feel like you have to eat them all in one sitting.

But go ahead. I’m not looking.


Chocolate Covered Red Stag Caramels

makes around 3 dozencarm2

  • 14 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup  light corn syrup
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp. Red Stag Bourbon

Chocolate Coating

  • 2 cups Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 1 Tablespoon Shortening
  • Sea Salt Flakes, for sprinkling

In a heavy bottomed pot, such as enameled cast iron, combine all caramel topping ingredients save for the bourbon. Bring to a boil and stir until sugars are dissolved and the mixture is well combined. Using a candy thermometer, watch for the goal of about 230 degrees. Without a thermometer, watch for a rich caramel color – about 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the bourbon. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes, then pour into an 8×8 silicone pan or a regular pan lined with parchment. Refrigerate for several hours. Once chilled, cut into small squares.

To make chocolate coating, melt the chips in the microwave in 30 second increments.  After the first 30 seconds, add in the shortening, and reheat another 30 seconds. Be sure to stir after each heating.  Coating is ready when the chocolate is smooth and liquid.

Dip the cold caramel squares in the chocolate, and shake a bit with a fork, removing extra chocolate.  Place on parchment paper to dry, after a light sprinkle of sea salt.


imageSee that 7 Quart KitchenAid? I know you want it. I certainly can’t blame you. So, to keep it fun and interesting, I’m giving you LOTS of extra opportunities to win it. For every giveaway you enter during my 25 Days of Doughmesstic Christmas, if you’ll go comment on THIS POST (Click thru!) saying “I entered to win the …” (you know, whatever you entered to win), you’ll get a BONUS entry to win the mixer. That’s 24 additional chances to win that bad boy. So scoot! Go enter to win today’s giveaway, and then visit THIS POST to comment for your bonus entries on the mixer. GOOD LUCK!


  1. Wow what a great idea to use cherry flavored bourbon. These look scrumptious!

  2. WOW! These caramels look fantastic, and I imagine they taste even better. You should sell these for Valentines Day!

  3. Those are just tooooo good. I can almost taste them, I wish I could have one right now.

  4. Good lord women…I’m trying to lose weight this year! :)

  5. Oh my!! These look soo good, I’m going to make them as soon as I recover enough to eat :)

  6. You and your caramels, you’re killin me! These look AMAZING!

  7. Good Lord, I think I love you…… But not such good news for the diet…

  8. best. accident. ever.

    holy cats! these look amazing!!!

    love you and love your blog! thanks for posting, keep making “mistakes” please ;)

  9. No words other than these look INCREDIBLE!! Why can’t we be neighbors?!

  10. Oh believe me, I have had many of those moments! These caramels look fantastic.

  11. hi all, First time poster and excited to be a part of the discussion.

  12. Dear lord, are these good! Thank you for encouraging me to try these! My first attempt failed spectacularly (note to self, when you run out of light corn syrup, dark is NOT a good substitute), but the second time around, with appropriate ingredients, these were straight from heaven!

    On a separate note, though…would margarine work in a pinch or must it be butter and only butter?

  13. Are you sure the 230F temperature is correct? Pretty sure it should be 320F. 230F would be in the thread stage.

  14. Nevermind… just noticed you add the cream before you heated the sugar. …

  15. Cynthia T. says:

    Oh my! Yuuuummm! I can’t wait to try these. I have never attempted to make caramels. Your directions make it look so doable. Thanks!

  16. These are completely irresistible! Hooray for accidents! (I always taught my children the best things can come from accidents (such as these)!

  17. Made these yesterday, this was exactly what I was looking to make for my boss as a Christmas gift. Love to bake and this was my first foray into making caramels. First batch, caramels would not set up even though I used a candy thermometer. I think I may have added too much bourbon and it just would not achieve a consistency which I could cut into squares. Had to throw that batch out. Tried again, this time sticking to the recipe, used the candy thermometer and poured into 9 by 9 pan with non stick foil and light canola oil spray. Put them in the fridge for an hour. Got them out to cut into squares and the whole thing shattered like glass! Have no idea where I went wrong. These looked sooooo good and was really looking forward to them! Hope everyone else has better success than I do. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    • doughmesstic says:

      Wow. SOunds like round one was a bit undercooked, and round two a little over cooked. By chance are you using an electric range? Unlike gas, the OFF eye still radiates heat – just trying to come up with plausible answers for you! Caramel in finicky, at best – but please don’t give up!

  18. Hi there, I just wanted to let you know that I made these caramels(but used Crown Royal) they are simply AMAZING! I will post them soon, thank you for the great recipe:)
    Take care

  19. Edith Sullivan says:

    What can I substitute for the bourbon?


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