Mama Nibbles: Old Time Caramels Etsy Shop Review, #Giveaway 11/15 and Coupon Code

Old Time Caramels Etsy Shop Review, #Giveaway 11/15 and Coupon Code


     When my handmade caramels arrived via usps priority mail they were wrapped up nice and tight in their little parchment wrappers and plastic.  Every piece was very fresh.  I have been storing them in a tightly sealed container and so far they are looking as fresh as the day they arrived.
     The exterior of every caramel is silky smooth and perfectly shiny.  It was not too sticky, the parchment paper wrapper definitely helped with that.  The color of every caramel was the most beautiful light golden brown, showing that it had been cooked to perfection with great skill.
     First I tried the vanilla, each bite enveloped my mouth in a deep vanilla caramelized sugar and butter flavor that was not too intense or smokey.  The texture was creamy with a smooth viscosity.  My favorite was the cheesecake flavor, this has perhaps been the most brilliant tasting caramel I have ever had in my life.  The cinnamon provided a nice spicy kick, reminding me of red hots.  I even tried a little experiment, wrapping an apple in a rolled out piece of the cinnamon caramel and then slicing it up.  This produced a tasty snack that was both interesting and fun.  I moved on to the coconut which is something I have never had.  The coconut flavoring was spot on, just light and sweet but not too overbearing.   Next up was the apple, the apple flavor reminded me of a red delicious or mcintosh.  The flavor of that one was so fresh and fruity, it really stood out.
I hope you enjoy reading my interview with Vernon Palmer, owner of Old Time Caramels:

Please tell us all a bit about yourself...

I am married and have three wonderful daughters who are all growing up too quickly.   My family is and always will be the most important thing in my life.  For my day job I teach math at a junior high, which is a constant adventure.  I have always enjoyed making things and fixing things and looking for new ways to do things.

What is your favorite item you make and why?

It is really tough to choose, but if I had to, it would be the cinnamon caramel.  This was the first flavor I tried besides vanilla.  I have always been a big fan of cinnamon flavored food – everything from Hot Tamales to cinnamon rolls.  It is really hard for me to make the cinnamon caramels and not want to eat them all myself.

What inspires you?

Like anyone who creates, my primary inspiration comes from a desire to create something that will bring happiness to the person who receives it.  My hope is that every caramel I make will bring pleasure to the person who eats it.  Although the bottom line is important for any business, I am much more interested in creating something that brings a little more joy into the world.

What are three tools in your workspace that you could not live without?

The first and most important is my candy thermometer.  Making good caramels that are the right color and have just the right amount of chewiness requires a great amount of precision during the cooking.  Although I can tell pretty closely when the caramel is done by how it looks in the pan, the candy thermometer helps me make sure I get it exact.

The second is parchment paper.  One of the biggest problems that I had when I first started making caramels was that caramels that have just the right level of chewiness also have a little bit of stickiness.  I tried wrapping the caramels in a lot of different things, than realized that the one thing they didn’t stick to was parchment paper.  So, all of my caramel blocks come wrapped in parchment paper and my wrapped caramels have a layer of parchment paper inside the foil wraps.

The other thing that I am constantly using is a good, sturdy putty knife.  Although this may seem a bit strange to have in a kitchen, it works great for cutting the caramels, scraping off my work surface, and even scooping the corn syrup out of the bucket.

How did you come up with your store name? 

I wanted to convey the idea that these caramels are made using traditional methods and natural ingredients which make them more like homemade candy that was much more common a generation or two ago than it is now.  Modern prepackaged food, including candy, is made with the goal of extending shelf life, which in many cases has lessened flavor or increased the use of artificial flavorings.  A quick side-by-side tasting of my caramel with one made by a large candy manufacturer easily demonstrates the vast differences between homemade caramels and mass produced caramels.

At the same time, the idea of flavoring caramels is relatively new and adds the modern notion of individual choice and preference to the tradition flavor and texture of handmade caramels.

How did you get started in your caramel business?

Growing up, every Christmas my mom would make pecan rolls (she still does), which consisted of a pinoche center wrapped in caramel and covered with pecans.  One Christmas I decided to try and make them myself.  I had a really hard time getting the pinoche to turn out right, but I was able to make the caramel.  After a few attempts, I gave up on making the pecan rolls and just started making the caramel.  As I shared them with family and friends, it was easy to see that they were a big hit.  Then one day I went to a party at my sister’s house and she had made a cinnamon caramel dip for dipping apples, which I really liked (I’m a big fan of cinnamon).  That is where I got the idea of adding flavors to the caramels.  I started with four flavors, but was always on the lookout for new flavors that I thought would go well with the basic caramel taste.

Where else besides Etsy can you be found online so your fans can follow you?

I have a facebook  page at  I’m not really consistent about posting on it, but I am trying to get more into the habit.

Do you have a coupon code you would like to share with my readers?

Yes, use the code NIBBLES and get 20% off through the end of December 2011.

Old Time Caramels Etsy Shop:


Guess what?!  I love Old Time Caramels so much that I am going to give one of my readers the chance to win one Old Time Caramels Sampler Assortment with 9 different flavors of caramel!  I will ship to the USA and Canada!  To enter please use the rafflecopter form below.  This giveaway will end on 11/15 @ 12:01 am.

Disclaimer: I did not receive monetary compensation for this review. I was sent the product(s) free of charge by the company or PR representative. It has been used solely for the purpose of this honest review. The views are strictly 100% my own. Receiving the product did not influence me to produce a positive review.

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