Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Creamy Caramels

I have been making this recipe for years.  It is one of the best recipes I have tried for caramels.  It is also easy to remember.  Everything has a 1.  I originally found it in an old issue of the Taste of Home magazine.  You can find the recipe here on the taste of home website.  The only thing I have noticed about this site is sometimes they have changed the recipe slightly from the way it was originally printed in the magazines.  So I will also post the recipe I use the way it is printed in the magazine.

Creamy Caramels
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark corn syrup
1 cup butter
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

In a heavy 3 quart saucepan combine the sugar, corn syrup and butter. Insert a candy thermometer.  On medium heat bring to a boil stirring constantly.  Boil for 4 minutes without stirring. During this step prepare your pan. Line a 8 inch square pan with foil.  Butter or spray the foil with cooking spray.  Add the sweetened condensed milk.  Stir to combine and lower the heat to medium low.  Bring to soft ball stage stirring frequently.  The recipe says to bring it to 238 degrees Fahrenheit.  I have found that this is a little too soft for our taste.  So I take it to 242 degrees Fahrenheit.  This makes a nice firm caramel.  It is amazing how just a few degrees makes that big of a difference.  Once the caramel hits about 225-230 you will want to begin to stir constantly.  The caramel will have darkened and begun to get thick.  Once you have reached the temperature you want take it off the heat and add your vanilla.  Stir to combine.  Pour into the prepared pan and allow to completely cool.  Remove caramel from pan and peel off the foil.  Cut into 1 inch squares and wrap each piece with wax paper. Yields about 64 pieces.

After you add the milk it is real light in color.  You now lower the heat to medium low
Just a fair warning.  From this point it will take at least 20-30 minutes of cooking to get
to the soft ball stage. 

I don't have a 8 inch square pan. This pan is equivalent to it though.
I have always used this pan and it turns out just fine.

The caramel is nice and bubbly.  Don't forget to add your vanilla
before you pour it into the pan. I have before so now I always
put the bottle of vanilla beside the stove so I won't forget!!

I like to put the pan on a cooling rack.  This helps it cool down a lot faster

If you bring your caramel to 240 degrees Fahrenheit it will firm up nicely.
Flip the caramel to a cutting board and carefully pull off the foil.

I cut 1 inch rows first and then cut each row into 1 inch pieces

Wrap them in squares of wax paper.  I cheat and buy packages
of wax paper squares from a bulk food store.

Package them up to give as gifts or put in a container to serve and eat.
I always make sure I keep a few back for my own family to eat!

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I am going to have to try this. I have never made caramels before. I always thought it would be hard to do. But this recipe looks easy. Thanks