Sugar Tricks

Vinegary sweets and cheesy cookies from Salted Caramel

Salted Caramel's bacon-bourbon caramel corn–arguably the most timely, on-trend local treat of 2009–was an instant hit when it launched last November.

But owner Ginna Haravon never meant to be "just a caramel corn company," she says. Her two newest products, which launched this week, twist sweets in a different savory direction, making them as friendly to the cheese board as to the dessert tray.

Her pâte de fruit (dense fruit jellies) skews sour thanks to a palpable dose of vinegar cooked down with the sugar and fruit. Apple pâte de fruit is sharp with the tang of apple cider vinegar. Blackberry and cherry, cooked with red wine vinegar, and peach (with white wine) have a more subtle tartness. Each wedge is dusted with sugar crystals and vinegar powder ($7 for 8 pieces).

The new Carousel Cookies lean more toward savory than sweet, with oatmeal, dried plums and apricots, and a heavy shaving of aged English cheddar cheese ($8 for a box; special order only).

Order them both online, and look for the pâte de fruit at the caramel corn's frequent haunts (Lush Wine and Spirits, Provenance, Pastoral, and Green Grocer).

Up next: the company's namesake (salted caramel), spiked with bourbon for good measure, out in time for the holidays.