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Nicole Spiridakis for NPR /

Candy is ideal for sending in gift packages. And who doesn't like caramels? This recipe is easily doubled.

Makes 1 dozen caramels

1 cup heavy cream

3 tablespoons butter, cut into three one-tablespoon pieces

1 teaspoon fleur de sel (a type of sea salt sold at most health food stores and specialty food markets)

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/4 cup water

Special equipment: parchment paper*, candy thermometer

Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch-square baking pan with parchment paper, then lightly oil parchment.

Bring cream, butter and fleur de sel to a boil in a small saucepan, then remove from heat and set aside.

Boil sugar and water in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil, without stirring but gently swirling pan, until mixture is a light golden caramel.

Carefully stir in cream mixture (mixture will bubble up) and simmer, stirring frequently, until caramel registers 248 degrees on the candy thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes. Pour into baking pan and cool for at least 2 hours.

Cut into 1-inch pieces, then wrap each piece in a 4-inch square of wax paper, twisting the two ends to close. Caramels will keep for up to two weeks in an airtight container.

* Parchment paper or wax paper is a must for wrapping the caramels; they will stick to anything else.

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