Friday, December 9, 2011

Foodie Friday: Christmas Caramels

I have always wanted to learn how to make candy and since my Mom was in town I thought now would be a good time! Caramels always sound delicious, so that is what we went with.
Before I give you the recipe, I have one huge tip for ya....when they say a medium saucepan, they really mean a large saucepan. If you follow the directions you may end up with this:
And also this little charmer:
So practice safe caramel making and use a large saucepan. Like this:
Lots of room for that sugary, milky goodness to bubble up!
(P.S. my Mom cleaned it up for me...a Mom is also handy to have in the kitchen!)
Oh, another great tip (thanks Mom!) is when you are using a brand new candy thermometer always check to make sure it measures correctly. We boiled some water and made sure that the boiling temperature of water, 100 degrees C was dead on. It wasn't, it was about 3 degrees off. Important info when making candy. So then we knew that our temperature needed to be 3 off.
So here is how it's done ladies and gentlemen:
Place all of the ingredients, minus the vanilla in your "LARGE" saucepan.
Then you let all that yummy goodness melt over high heat.
Place your thermometer in and let it reach it's bubbling point!
And then you stir, and stir, and stir, and stir...well basically for forever.
But just remember it will all be worth it in the end.
And just in case you accidentally read the temperature wrong in the recipe and go like 20 degrees over, don't worry, there is still hope!
We made that fun mistake with the first batch, and it was hard...but it tasted just like a Werther's Original candy and had the same hardness, not gooey hard, but hard candy hard. I broke it up and laid it out on wax paper and drizzled white and milk chocolate on top. It looks amazing & like I did it on purpose! Always remember to make those lemons into lemonade!
And sorry I don't have a picture =/
After you reach the correct temperature, pull that baby off the stove and pour in your vanilla. I found it was easier to have the vanilla pre-measured so I didn't have to frantically measure it out. Was super handy in my little dish. I kind of felt like a host on the Food Network.
Pour it into your pre-buttered baking sheet and let it cool down.
Once cool, cut into squares and wrap in wax paper. I love the look of homemade caramels!
Want to make some? Here's the recipe that I found:
Thanks Barbara for submitting it to the above website! They are super delicious & you will be thanking Barbara too...whoever that fabulous gal is!
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
1. Grease a 12x15 inch pan.
2. In a LARGE size pot, combine all ingredients except vanilla. 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 prepared pan and let cool completely. Cut into small squares and wrap in wax paper for storage.
*Makes about 60 caramels

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Rachel said...

I've always wanted to attempt homemade caramels - you're inspiring me!

Thanks for the tips, too!