Homemade Caramels

Doug loves caramels, so last night I decided to whip up a batch.  They are labor intensive, but always worth it. A little background on my venture into candy making...

The first time I tried to make caramels, Doug and I had just started dating and we were taking our first trip together.  I thought it would be a nice surprise for him if I make some fresh, homemade caramels to pack in my carry-on bag for the flight.  Again, first time I've ever tried to make candy... and I left the boiling liquid on the stove just a few minutes too long.  I also used condensed milk rather than the required evaporated milk.  It turned out more like toffee, than caramel.

Candy making is all about accuracy and precision.  Learn from my mistakes!  The liquid, which consists of sugar, brown sugar (both of which liquefy with other ingredients and the heat), butter, evaporated milk, heavy cream and corn syrup boils until it hits 250 degrees F/120 degrees C, at which time you remove it from the heat and add vanilla.  (I use a Taylor candy thermometer).  If you allow the liquid to go beyond that, it will start to harden and you'll end up with toffee, as I did the first time!

Here is the recipe I used for the most recent batch of caramels (which turned out just as caramels should, and not at all like toffee!) Ingredients

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Grease a 12x15 inch pan. (I used a 13x9x1 inch pan, which worked just as well)
  2. In a medium-size pot, combine sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, evaporated milk, whipping cream, and butter. Monitor the heat of the mixture with a candy thermometer while stirring. When the thermometer reaches 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) remove the pot from the heat.
  3. Stir in vanilla. Transfer mixture to the prepared pan and let the mixture cool completely. When cooled cut the Carmel into small squares and wrap them in wax paper for storage.