From Gingerbread, by Jennifer Lindner McGlinn: "It might seem rather a stretch, including caramels in a book about gingerbread. The fact of the matter is, though, that in France (and in Burgundy, in particular) the use of spices is so ubiquitous that they make their way into everything from breads and cakes to preserves and confections. This recipe is based on caramels I first experienced in the Burgundian hill town of Vézelay. The shops there were filled with tempting local specialties. Among the shelves of wine, honey, mustard, and preserves, I almost always found pretty little sacks of caramels d'épices. These delicious, dark amber-colored gems, wrapped beautifully in gold and purple foil, were a revelation. Spicy, sweet, and creamy, caramels d'épices were candy bliss. As soon as I returned home, I began developing my own recipe for these caramels, which I now present to you. These caramels, though, are truly as consistently easy to prepare as they are delicious."