I love caramels and a good friend gave us her recipe. We made them last year to give with our neighborhood gifts. Here is the recipe:
- 2 pts. corn syrup – Bring to boil
- Add 4 cups sugar – Keep boiling
- Add 1 lb butter – Keep boiling
- Slowly add 1 pt. heavy cream
- Carmelize 3 Tbsp sugar in another pan
- Slowly add 1 can evaporated milk
- Slowly add carmelized sugar
Cook to soft ball stage (240-245 degrees). Add 1 tsp vanilla.
Pour into buttered pyrex dish or other cookie sheet to cool.
Cool 6 hours and then cut into pieces.
A couple of important tips:
- Make sure that the pan you have is big enough. As the caramel cooks, it will eventually expand to about twice the original size of the ingredients. You DON’T want it to boil over. Take it from personal experience! It will cause massive amounts of smoke in your house and stink up the place, causing you to open the windows in the dead of winter, freezing you out, and giving your wife an asthma attack. It can also catch on fire as you try and scrape up the burnt remains on your stove, particulary if you left the burner on. Just start with a bigger pan than you think you need. The advantage of having it spill over, is that you get a real check to see if your smoke alarms are working. We found out that ours work just fine. All of them.
- Make sure that you check the accuracy of your candy thermometer before you start. If it isn’t registering high enough, you’ll end up with delicious candy that is a bit harder than you might expect for caramel. I don’t know about you, but I like my caramel soft. You can check your thermometer by boiling some water, inserting the thermometer and make sure it registers 212 degrees. If it doesn’t, you need to account for the difference when you are cooking the candy. The caramel should be just barely to soft ball stage, so when it is getting close, drizzle some into a cup of cold water, take it out and see if you can mold it into a soft ball. If you can, it’s done. It doesn’t matter what your thermometer says! Don’t cook it anymore!