Full of ideas I went to BevMo thinking it would be easy to spot and hurry home with dreams of sugarplums floating in my head. Walking into BevMo I was asked five times if I needed help so I relented and said, “Ok, do you have Karl Stauss Off The Rails?” “Why, yes! It’s right here,” said the over-enthused salesman. We walked to the Karl Stauss area but alas, there was no Off The Rails. “Oh, that’s strange, I thought we just got some,” the salesman moaned. “No worries, I will just have to get something else,” I smiled knowing that an additional beer trip was going to be in order to find Off The Rails. To my surprise it was actually hiding in plain site on the end of the row next to the Ninkasi. “Oh pshhhh, that guy didn’t know anything…” I muttered under my breath as I placed one in my basket. Thinking that I might want more than one I grabbed another bomber and headed to the register.
Because I am a gigantic klutz, I managed to drop one of my bags while putting my purchases in the trunk of my car. Bending down to inspect the fallen solider, out of the 8 or so bottles I purchased the only one that broke was the Off The Rails. Now I was really glad I bought two bottles.
With a renewed spirit, I unloaded at home and started baking. I decided to make Honeycomb Candy, even though I have never made any before. The directions seemed easy enough, so I dived right in.
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons honey (I used Julian Wild Berry Honey)
2 tablespoons water
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons of Karl Strauss Red Trolley Ale Off The Rails
70 % Chocolate and Sea Salt (for covering candy and decoration)
1. Prepare a cookie sheet with a silpat or that has been greased.
2. Add the sugar, honey, water and beer to a saucepan. You can stir the mixture but you shouldn’t really need to.
3. Cook the ingredients over high heat, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 300 degrees F.
4. When the candy reaches 300, pull the pan from the heat and whisk in the baking soda. This will cause the mixture to foam up so once it’s incorporated be quick to pour it onto the baking pan. You might need a spatula handy.
5. Don’t mess with the mixture once on the pan, otherwise the bubbles will pop and mess with the candy.
6. Let sit for 15 minutes then put the whole pan in the freezer.
7. In the meantime, melt the chocolate (I used two bars or 1 bag of chocolate chips) and get a cooling rack ready.
8. Take the candy out of the freezer and smash into pieces (this is the really fun part). Then put the whole pan back into the freezer. The candy gets sticky and mushy if left in the open air for too long. Take a few pieces from the freezer and cover in chocolate and then sprinkle sea salt while the chocolate is still wet. Place on cooling rack to dry. Once dry, place cooled candy into the fridge until ready to serve. Repeat on the remaining pieces of candy.
Fun Fact: Try using different types of sea salt, I used Chardonnay Smoked Sea Salt which went really well with the candy.
These candies were a huge hit, and everyone who tried them loved it. The beer was malty and sweet with a hint of bitter which went really well with the caramelized sugar. I plan to make them again very soon. So drop what you are doing and make these, your family and friends will thank you!