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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Caramel Candy

I love it when it snows but I can't believe how awful it got on the streets yesterday! Hope everybody made it home safely last night.
Since most of us are stuck indoors, why not make a batch of homemade caramel candy? I think they make great gifts!

This was surprisingly very easy to make and came out perfectly soft and chewy. I found the instructions here and simply halved the amount of ingredients. This was a really good post about the the whole procedure, great pictures as well! I have listed the method here for convenience.

(makes over 1 lbs of candy)
(cook time 20-30 mins + extra time for cutting and wrapping)

Unsalted butter 1/2 cup
Light corn syrup 1/2 cup
Sweetened condensed milk 1/2 of a 14 oz can
Brown sugar 1 cup and 2 Tbs
Vanilla 1/2 tsp


Note: This is easier if you have a candy thermometer. I don't have have one, so I would test for the right temperature by dropping a small amount of caramel into an ice cold glass of water. I checked after every 5-8 mins. And when the caramel gathered at the bottom of the glass formed a firm ball in my fingers, I knew it was done.

Melt butter in a heavy base pan and add sugar to it.
Cook until sugar is dissolved over medium high heat... about a minute
Add corn syrup and condensed milk, stir and combine well.
Continue to cook over med high heat and stir often.
Cook until caramel reaches the firm ball stage. It took me a little over 20 minutes.
Add the vanilla or any other flavors at this point.
Pour this carefully in a buttered dish.
Allow to cool over night.
Sprinkle with sea-salt if you'd like, cut into desired shape and wrap.
I used kitchen shears to cut these, that explains the weird cut lines along the caramel :-)

I don't know if you can tell, but my caramel had tiny dark brown specks in it. That happened because I didn't stir the caramel often enough during cooking and it got dark at the bottom. So stir stir stir and then stir some more.

Another point that I would like is make is on the wrapping material, I tried both cellophane and wax paper. The cellophane obviously has a lot of options in pattern, colors etc but they are a pain to twist and don't hold the shape. Wax paper does a better job and the candies look more homemade.


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