Okay, the honey caramels from Fine Cooking (recipe here: http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/honey-caramels.aspx?ac=fp) are just the best ever. I have been making these for teacher gifts for years and they are amazing. I make a couple of flavor variants, but almond with orange zest is the general favorite. The variant pictured has assorted warm spices, plus some pine nuts that I needed to use up. I don't recommend pine nuts in this recipe-- they are too soft and lack the crunch of almonds.
This year, with a little help from the new candymaking book by Peter Greweling, I dipped some of those little darlings in chocolate and wow. Clearly my dipping technique requires work, but the chocolate is in temper, even if I am not. What a pain, but so worth the results.
The round caramels are plain honey caramels for my daughter-- she insisted that they be decorated (with pink candy pigs) to distinguish them from the ones with nuts. Oh, and because Mommy 'accidentally' ate the plain ones from the last batch.
Those teachers are going to be happy next year...