Did I hear my name? You are trying to turn a caramelized sugar caramel into something hard, and I don't think that is the right approach. Do a Maillard caramel and over-cook it. That is what most people do accidentally! Any recipe should work, just cook it 10-15 degrees F higher than called for. Remember your altitude adjustment if there is one.
Thank you! David Lebovitz's caramel recipe involves first cooking the syrup to 310ºF (155ºC), then adding a cream mixture, and heating this base to 260F (127C). If the temperature is increased by 10-15F, to which step would that temperature increase apply? Possibly both?
Regarding maillard caramel, how does that differ from a caramelized sugar caramel? Do you have recommendation for a reliable online source for a maillard caramel recipe? I searched in the eG database, but didn't find anything. I know I can find plenty of recipes online, but my lack of experience with candy-making means I wouldn't necessarily spot the duds, so site suggestions would be tremendously appreciated.
Slabs of Macintosh are bendable when fresh . . a little on the hard side, but not brittle. . . At least not the ones I've had. Once you start chewing on them, they are very close to hard rubber. . . chewy yet delicious. It's been a couple of years since I've had any, but they sound like what you're looking for (to me).
Thanks, and I now realize that I really should investigate the sweets my friend was thinking of. The ones she mentioned are a commercial product that I really should hunt up, so I can take a look at the ingredient list. Just because they're apparently caramels doesn't exclude the possiblity of the ingredients/production having much in common with traditional caramels or toffee.