I LOVE caramels! A LOT!!! In fact, they may just be my favorite candy. Sorry chocolate! :o) This recipe is so easy to make and they are perfect, chewy but they don’t stick to your teeth (I hate that) and buttery smooth. PERFECT!!! My favorite way to have caramel is with chocolate or salted with kosher or coarse sea salt. Sometimes I do both…
*This is by far my most requested recipe! Mainly because when people try them, they must have them! They are also my most requested party food or gift. People also demand them of my in return for favors I have requested of them. ;o)
I have perfected the recipe since I posted this almost two years ago.
1 cup butter or margarine ( I use margarine because I read that it makes a less sticky caramel)
2 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 can condensed milk
1 cup corn syrup
1 pinch salt ( I use about 1/4 tsp)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
In a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk, corn syrup and salt.
Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Heat to 248-250 degrees F Cook for 2 minutes at that temperature. This process takes about 30 minutes or so. When the caramel reaches 249 that can’t be immediately stirred down to a lower temperature, set the timer for 2 minutes. It just needs to stay around 249 for the 2 minutes. It can be a bit higher and a bit lower (towards the end of the time) and still be ok. Don’t let it go higher than 254 or lower than 244. Remove the pan off the heat if necessary. This is the trickiest part, but you’ll get the hang of it.
Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla.
Meanwhile, butter a parchment-lined 9x13 inch baking pan. When the caramel is ready, pour into the buttered pan.
Allow to cool completely at room temperature. Remove from the pan and cut into squares using scissors or a sharp knife. The perfect caramel isn’t too hard when chilled and can hold its shape when at room temp.
If they are too soft wrap individual pieces in waxed paper or plastic wrap so they will hold their shape.
To make the chocolate dip just melt 1 cup of dark chocolate chips with 1 scant Tablespoon of shortening or vegetable oil. (This helps keep the chocolate from getting soft at room temp.) Dip the caramels into the chocolate on a fork, lift caramel out of the chocolate and tap off the extra on the side of the bowl. Carefully set on a piece of parchment or wax paper. Let set a couple of minutes before sprinkling with salt. Don’t let the chocolate set before putting the salt on top!
Place in fridge to speed up the setting of the chocolate and store in fridge. But these are best served at room temperature.
Enjoy and try not to eat them all at once! :o)