Pete's Caramels - FAQs
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Please note: We are no longer accepting new orders.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Pete and what are his caramels made of?
For this info please view the About page.

Why did you start this business?
The main reason why I created Pete's Caramels was just to have a fun hobby with which I could share my love of caramels with the world. That way, even if my business ends in massive failure, as long as I have made my (perhaps few) customers happy, I can consider it a success.

Why caramels?
I also make chocolate-based items like truffles but, aside from the practical reason that it fares well in the mail, there's something very special about caramel. When I cook with chocolate, I already start out with the treat (yummy bits of chocolate) and all I really do is reshape it or change its appearance or consistency in some way. With caramel, I start out with a pot full of cream, corn syrup, sugar and butter. These ingredients all have potential, but when they are raw they are not very snackable. It's hard to mess up chocolate, but with my pot full of ingredients over the flame the mixture actually changes and evolves on a chemical level. Therefore I must artfully guide its transformation to achieve the perfect taste and consistency. Chocolate is great too, but I choose to sell my caramel because it fascinates me on both a scientific and artistic level. And it's yummy.

What makes your caramels special?
For one thing, you don't have to analyze fine print to figure out what you're eating. My caramels are all natural and contain nothing like trans fat or preservatives (although I must note that my cream, bought from a local grocery store just like yours, may contain ingredients that the farmers use to stabilize it. Contact me at petescaramels@gmail.com if you have any special concerns). I don't cook with anything you wouldn't find in your own kitchen. Most important, though, is the taste. I decided to make and sell my caramels in the first place because there are surprisingly few places to get really good caramels. In fact, many people don't even know they like caramel until they try mine, which is why I recommend that everyone should request a Sample. My caramels are nothing like the gooey kind you might find in candy bars, but they're also not like the very hard, square candies that you might find in a local drug store. If I had to compare them to a commercial candy, I would say that Werthers comes the closest, but these are hard candies and even the chewy version is harder than fresh caramels, as a candy would have to be pumped full of trans fats and preservatives to sit on store shelves for months and maintain their fresh, soft consistency.

How long do caramels last?
Caramels can last up to three weeks or longer in an airtight container at room temperature. After this time, they may start to become grainy or hard and lose their fresh flavor. Some people recommend freezing or refrigerating the caramels, but I have not tried either extensively so I cannot recommend it and do not freeze or refrigerate any caramels before shipping them.

How many caramels will I get in a batch?
Because my caramels are hand-wrapped and the size can fluctuate, I sell my caramels by weight and not size. Each batch weighs at least one pound, usually more. Expect between one and one and a quarter pounds. As I said, it is difficult to give an exact number of caramels you will receive, but my last batches have contained between 45 and 50 caramels that are each much more than one bite, if you like to nibble like me. Either way, rest assured that you will be very satisfied by the amount of caramel you receive (some might call it Caramel Heaven).

What should I do with all those caramels?
The obvious answer to this question would be: eat 'em! Since you get a very generous amount of caramels with every order, though, I would like to go a little bit more in depth. The caramels will last in the airtight bag that they are shipped in or any other airtight container for around three weeks. Outside of the bag, though, they look great and are the perfect accent to a home or office when displayed in a nice bowl. If you're more adventurous, I recommend unwrapping a few and melting them in a saucepan on low or medium heat (or lightly microwave them), just until they melt (if you cook too long, they will get harder). Then you can pour some fresh, delicious caramel over ice cream, cake, or whatever else you want. One of my customers has even melted some down and made caramel apples!

How are your caramels shipped?
In order to offer the caramels at an affordable price, I do not ship by same day or two day shipping, instead opting for the next level, usually Priority Mail or Parcel Post depending on how long it would take to reach you (never anything like media mail that would take too long). If you would prefer another shipping option, however, this can be arranged by emailing me at petescaramels@gmail.com.

Do you ship internationally?
For instant orders, there is a flat rate that only covers shipping to the 48 contiguous states. For orders to anywhere else, please email me at petescaramels@gmail.com with your order and address and I will send you an invoice with a price quote for shipping.

Aren't caramels unhealthy?
Since they contain cream, butter and sugar, caramels are probably not the ideal option for someone looking to lose weight. However, they are all natural and therefore do not contain things like trans fats and preservatives that store-bought candies might have. Therefore, while your doctor or nutritionist can give better advice than I can on this matter, caramels like these have been cooked in your great grandparents' kettles and enjoyed in moderation as part of a healthy lifestyle for years.

Can you make me raspberry caramels?
Sure, why not? I never have before, but I'm willing to give it a shot. If it doesn't come out to my standards, I'll refund your money. If not, though, we may make some new confections beyond our wildest dreams! Beyond my wildest dreams, anyway. If you want caramels with chopped up almonds, chocolate caramels, chocolate covered caramels (as long as you don't mind it melting a bit) or whatever else you can come up with, just email me at petescaramels@gmail.com and I will send you back an invoice with a quote on how much it would cost. While I offer some pre-made orders for instant sales on my Products page, I think the most fun out of this venture will come from trying to meet your special requests.
Update: Somebody was inspired by this question and decided to challenge me by ordering some raspberry caramels, and they came out delicious and full of fresh raspberry flavor! I also made a wonderful batch of maple caramels with real maple syrup. Your wish is my command!

Can I get a raspberry caramel sample?
Unfortunately, I cannot make a whole Special Request batch just to send someone a taste. When someone orders a Special Request, however, I usually make some extras, so if you are interested in trying a more adventurous caramel without being adventurous enough to request a batch yourself, you may be able to email me at petescaramels@gmail.com to find out what's been cooking lately in the candy kitchen.

Can I trust you with my credit card information?
Good news: you don't have to! All transactions will go through Paypal, the most common and most trusted money transferring website online and I will never even see your credit card information. If you would prefer another method of payment, however, all you have to do is contact me at petescaramels@gmail.com and I will do my best to accommodate your needs.

Do I need a Paypal account?
No account is needed. Once you are ready to place your order, it will ask for a Paypal login. Just click the button to indicate that you do not have a Paypal account and you will be able to pay with any major credit card.

If I receive a sample and send a review or testimonial about them, will I be guaranteed a refund of my money?
On my Samples page, I say that if anyone who buys caramels from me (from a sample or an order) sends in a testimonial and I put it on this webpage, I will refund their payment. Unfortunately, I don't have the resources to give everyone free samples. While I still do not have many testimonials on my page, if your comments seem sincere (please be honest and do not pretend to like them just for the sake of two dollars) you will have a good chance of being put on the website. However, I cannot anticipate how many I will receive and for this reason I hope you can understand why I cannot guarantee free samples.

Why is your process for free samples so convoluted?
As I said, I can't afford to give everyone a free sample and don't want to be listed on freebie sites for everybody to request a sample just because they can. I do, however, want to give any interested member of the Caramelicious community an opportunity to experience their first (of hopefully many) Pete's Caramel. Therefore, I believe I have devised a system where people who aren't really interested won't feel like bothering, but true candy lovers can get a chance to enjoy and critique my candy without needing to invest very much.

If your question was not answered, please feel free to email me at petescaramels@gmail.com and I will do my best to answer your question and continue to update this page as new questions are asked.

"Buttery, soft, chewy - very natural tasting, clearly made of REAL ingredients and none of the nasty hydrogenated fats or other creepy chemicals. Yep - it's caramelicious!"
                                   - Joanna M.
                                   Portland, OR

I wanted to let you know that I received your caramel yesterday. It was
delicious. They make lots of candies and caramels here in the Netherlands,
but they can't really compare to what you sent. It was nice and sweet and
just the perfect amount of soft.
                                   - Danilo L
                                  Netherlands