Homemade Caramels

My friend Kris gave me this recipe well over a year ago, and I just got around to making them. 

Wow, was I missing out!

Let me start by saying I’m not a big caramel fan.  Or a sweets fan at all, for that matter.  But for some reason these really appealed to me, and I’m glad I finally tried them.  They are delicious and very easy to make.

Melt in the Mouth Vanilla Caramels

Makes about 2 1/2 pounds

1 cup butter or margarine
1 pound brown sugar
Dash salt
1 cup light corn syrup
1 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter in a heavy saucepan. Add brown sugar and salt. Stir until thoroughly combined. Stir in corn syrup and mix well. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly.

Cook and stir over medium heat until candy reaches firm ball stage. 248 on candy thermometer; about 12 to 15 min. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Pour into a buttered 9×13 pan. Cool and cut into squares.

This may say you can use margarine, but I wouldn’t recommend it.  I tried it that way the first time and while still delicious, it never hardened so it was more like caramel sauce.  Another alteration that I made was to line the pan with foil and lightly spray it with Pam.  This made the removal (and cleanup) a breeze.

The cooking part isn’t kid-friendly, as the hot sugar could cause serious burns. The wrapping, however, is a perfect chore for little hands.  My 7 year old cut small squares from waxed paper and wrapped them with a twist.

Interestingly enough, this evening on television Alton Brown (Good Eats) also made homemade caramels.  His recipe is different, and he sprinkled sea salt on the top.  Intriguing to me, since I’m much more of a salty-than-sweet girl.  I promptly went to the kitchen to dip one of our caramels in salt, and I’m happy to report that it was, indeed, quite delicious.

Alton also recommended that you use a pizza cutter, and I will definitely try that the next time.  I’m sure it would take much less time than my knife-cutting method did.

If you try these, please come back and let me know what you think!

Sound good? Find my recipe and many others at Foodista!

Caramel on FoodistaCaramel

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