For this week's installment of kitchen science, I set about the task of trying to figure out how to use Old Bay in something dessert-related. Several people have mentioned Moxley's Old Bay ice cream, but they just don't have enough demand to make it. So my thoughts turned to candy, where you often see salt being used in creative ways. Before I knew it, I was adapting a standard recipe for fleur de sel caramels - in this case, this recipe from Epicurious.com.
The making of the caramels was the difficult part. The easy part was adapting the recipe. All I did was replace the sea salt in the recipe with an equal amount of Old Bay seasoning (in this case, 1 teaspoon). I was worried that it wouldn't turn out very good, but I was surprised at how little I could taste the Old Bay. In fact, the only reason I could taste it at all was because I was deliberately looking for it. So my next step was to roll the caramel in Old Bay. This time I could really taste it. I imagine the reaction people might have would be the same as their reaction to Old Bay ice cream: you'll either love it or hate it. But if you like salty caramels then you will probably be more receptive to caramels covered in Old Bay (or your own favorite Chesapeake Bay) seasoning. I liked the flavor, to be honest. I was able to eke out about 50 caramels. Out of the 43 that remained after I taste-tested them, I rolled about half of them in Old Bay. Another fourth I kept plain, with about a fourth each rolled in fine pink Himalayan salt and coarse Celtic sea salt (I also covered one or two in smoked paprika; jury's still out on how I feel about that).
Better success may be had by replacing the teaspoon of sea salt with a tablespoon of Old Bay, since again it is difficult to taste it. But experiment with it and see if you like it.