My brother-in-law’s sisters are beautiful. They are also very thin and careful about what they eat. So at a party for my niece, I took special notice that Dan’s sister got so excited when their grandma arrived with her homemade caramels. She told me that these were a family favorite, and after unwrapping my first one, I completely understood why. I could never, ever go back to mass-produced caramels, and I am very grateful that Dan’s family was willing to share Grandma’s recipe. I am even more grateful that the recipe is idiot-proof. She wrote the details of this recipe to accommodate people with much less experience and sweet-making sense. God bless her.
Yield: about 5 dozen caramels
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup dark corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- Generously butter an 8″ square pan
- In small pan, heat butter and milk until butter is melted
- In a 2-quart pan, cook sugar, corn syrup and salt over medium heat until it reaches firm ball stage (244 degrees), stirring often. EDIT: Grandma usually takes it a few degrees above this so that the caramels get a little harder.
- Slowly stir in mil mixture, taking care that the sugar mixture does not stop boiling. Stir constantly.
- Cook mixture until firm ball stage again. Remove from heat
- Add vanilla. Mix well.
- Pour into pan.
- When firm (and cool), turn onto cutting board or wax paper. Cut into 1″ squares (you may need to use scissors).
- Wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap. This part seems to take forever. Having a stack of 3″ squares ready to roll helps immensely – cut them while the caramels are cooling. This is also an excellent step to delegate to eager helpers who are willing to be paid in sweet treats.