The following is my most requested recipe of all time (on and off line). I’ve been helping to make these caramels since I was big enough to stand on a stool and stir with a big wooden spoon…and they are definitely request-worthy.
Caramels are not easy. I won’t lie. They are also time consuming. But they are also crowd-pleasures and completely worth it.
Another thing I love about caramels…they’re a group effort. This week, my 7 and 9 year olds helped me wrap an entire batch of caramels before school. We turned up the Christmas music on the radio and wrapped them together.
- ½ lb butter
- 2 cups light corn syrup
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 (15 oz ) cans sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup flour
- 2 tsp vanilla
- Before you start cooking: measure 2 cups corn syrup; set aside. Mix together sweetened condensed milk and flour; set aside. Have everything close by. Spray a 9×13 pan with Pam or spread with butter, bottom only.
- Melt butter in a large (3 qt or larger) non-stick pan. Add corn syrup and sugar. Bring to boil on med heat, stirring often, and boil for 5 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat and stir in milk/flour mixture. Boil over med heat, stirring constantly until mixture darkens and reaches a medium hard ball stage (235º on candy thermometer).
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Turn into greased pan and cool completely.
- Cut into 2 inch pieces on a cutting board sprayed with Pam (I remove a strip at a time to the cutting board). Wrap pieces in small squares of wax paper (I make my papers about 3x5 inches).
- This recipe makes over 100 pieces, but really I lose count every time.
Note: Be prepared to stir for a long time. It usually takes me about 45 minutes straight of stirring. Yes, my arms do get tired, but that’s why we take turns and make it a family event.
And then? We eat them together. Yum!
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