Photo courtesy Amy Schumann
These homemade caramels may take a little extra time and concentration, but by the time you sample the end result, you know that your attention and vigilance throughout the process was worthwhile. Homemade caramels make for a great gift or party favor during any holiday, and an added benefit is that the whole house will have a sweet scent wafting through the air that can outmatch nearly any candle you may come across.
4 cups sugar
2 cups light corn syrup
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 ½ cup milk
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup butter, unsalted
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Thoroughly butter a 13x9 or 15x10 pan, depending on desired thickness of the candy.
- In a 6- or 7-quart Dutch oven, carefully stir together sugar, corn syrup, sweetened condensed milk, milk, whipping cream and butter.
- Place over medium heat and use a wooden spoon for stirring. A wooden spoon is important for making sweets such as these, so do your best to acquire one before attempting this recipe if you do not own one already.
- Stir occasionally until it comes to a boil, being careful not to get the sugar on the sides of the pan. Once a boil is reached, clip on a candy thermometer and cook, stirring constantly, until the candy reaches the "soft ball" stage at 240°F.
- Once it reaches 240°F, remove from heat immediately, stir in the vanilla, and then pour (without scraping) into the prepared pan.
- Allow candy to stand to cool overnight or approximately 10 hours. Remove from pan onto a wooden cutting board. Cut into one-inch squares. Cut waxed paper into squares approximately 6x6 inches. Then wrap each caramel square in a square of waxed paper, twisting on each end to preserve the candy's freshness. Makes approximately 100 pieces of caramel.