Thursday, July 12, 2012

Homemade Caramels

So, I have this super sneaky life plan right now. For those of you who haven't heard it, I promise I'll spill everything soon. It does however, involves my chocolate chip cookies, sex cookies, and these caramels.

Anyway, I have this crazy friend who swing dances all the time. One time, she was out swing dancing, and her partner pulled her in from a spin. She was supposed to land by grabbing his shoulder, but missed. Her finger somehow ended up his nose instead. (Still not sure how that happened...)

That story has absolutely nothing to do with these caramels. I just needed an interesting story to go with these, and that's what my friend came up with. She did enjoy these caramels however!

I probably have said this before, but I'll say this again, making candy is not like baking cookies. It's more like something you'd make in chemistry class. Everything has to be just right, and has to bake at just the right temperature for just the right amount of time. No tossing in whatever, or bumping up the temperature to get them done faster!

I feel like I have a million pictures of boiling sugar

Once they're done, the results are worth it. They're super sticky and gooey, and have a slight graininess that make them taste homemade. Watch your braces and crowns, but these are amazing!

From Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook

1 cup butter
2 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla

Generously butter a 9x9 pan.
In a heavy saucepan, melt butter. Add sugar and a dash salt, stir thoroughly. Stir in corn syrup. Gradually add condensed milk, stirring constantly. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, to 245 (firm-ball stage) for 15-20 minutes. Mixture should boil gently over entire surface. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Pour into buttered pan. When cool, cut into squares with a wet, sharp knife. Makes about 2 1/2 pounds.

Chocolate caramels: (haven't made these yet, but that's my next project!) Prepare caramels as above, except add 2 squares (2 oz) unsweetened chocolate, cut up, with condensed milk.

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