WARNING!! These are extremely addictive. Don't send me your dentist bills! ;)
Yield: about 60-100 caramels (depending on how you cut them) Prep and cook time: 1 hour (not including time to cut and wrap caramels. That takes about another hour or 2) Ingredients: 1 cup butter, unsalted 1 cup light corn syrup 1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk 2 1/4 cup brown sugar 1 tsp. vanilla
Fluer De Sel for sprinkling Equipment: Candy thermometer 3-6 qt. Sauce pan
Dish with cold water
Parchment paper 9x13 glass dish or rimmed cookie sheet Caramels: 1. Test your candy thermometer**. See notes below. 2. After you have tested your thermometer, line your pan with parchment paper. Be sure to cover up the sides of the pan. 3. If you will be dipping, prepare your items such as apples or pretzels and any toppings like chocolate or chopped nuts. Set aside. 4. Fill a small dish with cold water and grab your pastry brush, set these aside for later. 5. Cube 1 cup butter into even sized cubes to ensure even melting. Melt over low in sauce pan. 6. Carefully add sugar by pouring it into the center of the pan. You don't want the sugar climbing up the sides and crystalizing. Use your damp pastry brush you set aside to brush down any sugar crystals from the side of the saucepan. 7. Stir the brown sugar slowly until completely combined with melted butter. 8. Add 1 cup corn syrup and 1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk. 9. Start stirring with your pot on medium for one minute, combining all the ingredients you just added. 10. Slowly change your temperature to a medium-high and keep string until boiling. It is very important to change the temperatures slowly so you don't shock your candy. 11. Once boiling, clip on your candy thermometer not letting it touch the bottom of the pan. 12. When caramel is boiling, if you have been stirring well, you should have the butter fully blended into the caramel mixture, not separated. 13. Reduce heat to about medium, adjusting so that you keep a moderate, steady boil. 14. Stir frequently. If you let your caramel go too long without stirring the sugar will separate from the butter and become greasy. Keep stirring! 15. Temperature does not raise at a steady rate, so watch your thermometer closely. 16. Now it depends on what you plan on doing with your caramel so use the temperatures below for what you want. 230–233° Thread (Caramel dip) 234–240° Soft ball (Dipping apples, etc.) 244–248° Firm ball (Soft chewy caramel candy) 17. When thermometer reaches 244°, remove caramel from heat. See high altitude note at bottom if need. 18. Remove caramel from heat and slowly stir in vanilla. 19. Be very careful from here on out, this stuff WILL burn you. If dipping start immediately. If making caramels pour the caramel into the parchment lined pan. 20. Allow to cool for several hours to overnight. Sprinkle Fluer De Sel over caramel and use a knife or kitchen shears to cut pieces. I use a pizza cutter but be careful with it so you keep your lines straight. Wrap in parchment paper wax paper. You need patience for this, it takes a while! So turn on your favorite TV show and get to wrapping. **NOTE** Whenever you are using a candy thermometer, make sure you test it before. An inaccurate thermometer will ruin everything! To test, clip a candy thermometer onto a pan full of cold water and bring it to a boil. Don't let the thermometer touch the bottom of the pan. Boiling water should read 212°F. If your water is boiling and the reading is different, make note of the difference and apply this when making your carmel. To help, if the thermometer says the boiling water is 210˚F and not 212˚F that means you are at a 2˚ difference. So when the thermometer reaches 242˚F you will take your caramel off the heat then instead at the normal 244˚F. If this is all too confusing, just buy a new thermometer, thats what I would do! High-altitude note: If you live over 7,000 feet take the candy off at 227˚F. Use the NMSU E215 Guide for reference and use the lowest temperature for a chewy candy.