Sunday, January 10, 2010

Easy Homemade Caramels

Recipe From Sister's Cafe

1/2 cup butter (not margarine)
1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
1-1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
mixed nuts, optional

1. Begin by melting butter in large heavy pan over medium-low heat. Add brown sugar, corn syrup, and half of cream (3/4 cup). Cook over medium-low heat, stirring gently, until sugar dissolves.
2. Cook, stirring occasionally, until candy thermometer reaches 224°. Add rest of cream gradually. Turn up stove to medium heat and continue to cook. At this point I wash down the insides of the pan with a pastry brush and water to get rid of any sugar crystals (left alone they may cause your caramel to turn to sugar). Don't worry about drops of water getting in the caramel - it will boil off.
3. Just before it reaches 240° (or 236° for high altitude), add in vanilla. Allow it to come back to a boil and remove from heat as soon as it reaches 240 degrees. **check tips. If you like nuts, add them about 1 minute before the caramel is done - if you add them earlier they will over cook.
4. Immediately pour into a buttered 9x13-inch pan. Allow to cool, use a spatula to remove caramel onto a cutting board, and cut caramel into small squares. Wrap in waxed paper or plastic wrap.

She recommends:
1. Don't stir it when it gets close to the end. In fact, it needs minimal stirring at all!
2. Do not touch or disturb the caramel at all once you've poured it into the 9X13 - wait patiently for it to set up.
3. Although SLC is high altitude, I have found that 236 degrees is too soft. I prefer 240 degrees. Remember that the hotter it gets, the harder the caramel will be. Also, it depends on a lot more than just the I would suggest checking your caramel the old fashioned way: drop a tiny bit into ice water and if it forms a ball that is the right consistency you like, it's ready. I like it to form a solid ball but still be soft enough to squish between your fingers.
4. I like to wrap in waxed paper. I rip the paper from the roll in 4 1/2 -5 inch strips then cut those in half. (That's perfect for a piece ~1 inch square) Then roll the piece of caramel and twist ends. Grip the paper from the far edge to twist in, otherwise it will rip.

* I once had a recipe extremely similar to this and I was so sad that I haven't been able to find it. But low and behold those fabulous ladies at Sisters cafe have the recipe posted on their blog. Don't be intimidated by these...just follow these instructions and you can do it!


Trimble said...

These look so yummy, thanks for posting. BTW, have you had anyone tell you that this blog causes problems for their computer? I don't think I have a problem with your other blogs but this one I do. Every time I pull it up it freezes my computer and I usually have to restart my computer. It's very odd. Do you happen to know what might be my problem?

Cooking Queen said...

Interesting. No one has ever told me that. I will have to look into the problem. Thanks for letting me know!

K Melanese said...

I have been searching for these little carmel recipes. My hubbie is just going to love me. I just love your blog. HUGE FAN! You should try I and my sister's recipe site. We are having so much fun with it and it really seems like the stuff you would be interested in. I would just be flattered to no end to have you as a follower.
I hope to see you there. Enjoy.

MARY said...

I followed a link to your blog. I love it!
I used to have a recipe for pumpkin brownies. They were wonderful. But I lost it. The pumpkin was there for texture and I used apple sauce instead of oil. They were dense but not heavy and deep-dark-chocolate-goodness. You don't have a recipe like that do you?

Ingrid said...

I love caramel, the sauce and have made it many times but not the candies. I need to give it a try.

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