This caramel recipe has been used for almost 41 years; I have yet to have any bad batches. My grandson loves them!
This caramel recipe has been used for almost 41 years; I have yet to have any bad batches. My grandson loves them!
I have read the reviews on this recipe and think I know why some of you have caramels that turn out too soft and some too hard. First of all this recipe says to cook to the hard ball stage. The hard ball stage has a range of 250 - 266 degrees. To find out what degree you should use for your candy, use this calculation...Candy should come in 1 degree lower than indicated in the recipe for each increase of 500 feet above sea level. For instance if your recipe calls for 250 degrees and you live at 2000 feet above sea level, take 4 degrees off which would come to 246 degrees. Also, the book says that one day your candy may set using 250 degrees and the next day it may take 254 degrees depending on weather, etc. You could always use the cold water test...drop a teaspoon into very cold water to see how it sets. Hard ball stage should hold it's shape when removed from the water and formed into a ball, but should still be pliable.---I HOPE THIS HELPS!!! KimRead More
I have read the reviews on this recipe and think I know why some of you have caramels that turn out too soft and some too hard. First of all this recipe says to cook to the hard ball stage. The hard ball stage has a range of 250 - 266 degrees. To find out what degree you should use for your candy, use this calculation...Candy should come in 1 degree lower than indicated in the recipe for each increase of 500 feet above sea level. For instance if your recipe calls for 250 degrees and you live at 2000 feet above sea level, take 4 degrees off which would come to 246 degrees. Also, the book says that one day your candy may set using 250 degrees and the next day it may take 254 degrees depending on weather, etc. You could always use the cold water test...drop a teaspoon into very cold water to see how it sets. Hard ball stage should hold it's shape when removed from the water and formed into a ball, but should still be pliable.---I HOPE THIS HELPS!!! Kim
Excellent recipe. For you "new" caramel makers out there, please keep in mind that it's going to take anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour of cooking these to get them to the proper temp, but don't try to rush them along with higher heat or they'll just scorch! Just be sure to allow yourself enough time when making them and you should be quite pleased with the results...good things come to those who wait!!
I needed a recipe for Caramel Apples - and I didn't want to do it with store bought caramels. I found that this recipe works perfect as long as you follow these rules: 1) Double it if you want to be able to dip easily. It does double nicely, although it takes even longer to get to the proper temperature (over an hour). As someone else had mentioned, make sure you have a pot is MORE than double as high as the caramel as it will expand at one part of the cooking (it does shrink back down). 2) If there are any solids on the can lid of the evaporated milk, don’t add it; it will not dissolve in the caramel and you’ll be left with little chunks in the finished product. 3) Being close to sea level, I stopped at 240F and it was perfect for dipping apples; it set up nicely, and was firm enough to pour the remaining in a pan for chewy caramels. 4) After you remove from the heat, wait until the temperature drops to about 170F or less before dipping. Otherwise, the heat will cook the apples and you'll get bubbling from the juice trying to escape. 5) I know people here have said that they don't trust candy thermometers, but my guess is that they've never used a good one. A DIGITAL probe with a wire cord (available at any kitchen store) is the only way to go for these long cook-and-stir projects. You can set it to alert you when you're at the correct temperature. I placed the apples on Silpat mats (non-stick pad with silicon in it), which works better then wax paper
I am a caramel-a-holic and when my local candy maker died, I thought I needed to learn to make my own. This is an excellent recipe. The best taste of any caramel I've had, including very expensive ones. A couple thoughts...if you get tired and can't go the distance to 250 degrees, this recipe is extremely forgiving....stop and try again later. Nothing is ruined by stopping. I found that I needed to stop exactly when my candy thermometer hit 248-250...otherwise the caramels got too hard. Definitely go easy on the buttering of the pan. These caramels have been a huge hit with all my family and friends. I would advise that you plan to make them at a time when you can turn the phone off, get the dog from underfoot and focus only on this---250 degree sugar is nothing to trifle with!
These are very yummy. My candy thermometer doesn't really work, so we just cooked until it reached the firm ball stage (a drop of the mixture forms a firm but pliable ball when dopped into ice water). It took approx. 30 minutes of cooking and stirring. It is very helpful to make this with someone else, that way there are 2 people to get everything ready and take turns stirring, etc. Don't do what we did and line the pan with foil before pouring the caramel in... it stuck badly to the foil and we almost had a caramel disaster! We had to fill up the sink with hot water and float the pan of caramel in the hot water in order to loosen the foil enough. Then we eneded up losing some of the caramel, because it still stuck to the foil. My fault though! This caramel tastes so good that we couldn't stop eating it! Perfect flavor and texture. ******** Made these again a few weeks later but only had 1/2 cup corn syrup. So I used honey for the rest, and they were absolutely amazing! So much better than before, and I didn't think that was possible! ;) I may try them again sometime with even more honey. The texture is a little softer, but I like that anyways.
I have not actually made this recipe, but I do make a lot of candy. I am wondering if some of the people who had trouble getting the temp to 250 degrees were using a non-stick pot instead of a heavy pot - like Farberware or similar. In the past, I tried making candy in a teflon coated pot, thinking it was the smart thing to do, and my candy invariably failed. I could never figure out why my Grandma got hers to work and I followed the recipe exactly. There is something about the non-stick pot that messes up the candy.
I have adopted some Marines aboard an aircraft carrier and send them goodies each week. This week they are getting these yummy caramels. Due to travel time and heat it is not easy finding appropriate baked goods and candy to send to them. After I individually wrap them and package well, these should do just fine. If my fudge made it to them in good condition, these caramels should as well. Wish to thank Barbara for the recipe. I am from the old school of candy making and am about to throw that ^%&&^ candy thermometer away, almost ruined the candy! I trust my old wooden spoon and a small cup of cold water better to tell me the correct temp. Worked out just fine this way! I will be making these often for grandchildren, husband and at Christmas. I recommend even first time candy makers try this recipe, you will be happy you did.
These are absolutely wonderful: just like those you would buy, except YOU made 'em. I made half the batch and lined a 7x10 pan with salted peanuts... Oh my!!! In order to avoid dissatisfaction, I read lots of reviews on this recipe and paid special attention to two points: (1) it takes about one hour to reach the right temperature, but keep the mixture over medium-low heat at all time, or you will burn the caramel and (2) I took JANIEJANIE's comment into account and cooked the mixture in a non-nonstick pot. Came out PERFECT, sugary and buttery and lots of caramel/toffee taste.
I have a recipe for microwave caramels, so I used that technique with this recipe and it worked great. I made half the recipe so it would fit in a 2 quart microwave safe bowl. Mix the ingredients, pop into the microwave for 3 minutes, stir, cook 3 more minutes, stir, then cook for about 15 minutes until it reaches 245 degrees. At that point, I tested every minute until it was done. So much easier and faster than cooking it on the stove and it doesn't burn. My recipe says let it sit 10 minutes when it comes out of the microwave, stirring a couple of times, before pouring into the pan. Be sure to only do half recipe at a time so it doesn't boil over! But you can do a 2nd batch without washing your bowl and utensils.
are there more stars? creamy buttery rich taste, firm to touch but soft and chewy, tastes like a soft Worther's flavored caramel, but oh so homemade. Used parchment paper to line an 11x14 pan. Used kitchen scissors to cut the caramels and then snipped them off the desired length and that worked like a charm. (also thought about using a pizza cutter which would work well too). These are one of those recipes that you can make to give for someone special on their birthday. Will steal the show of any holiday goodie tray. **Make sure to use medium heat and don't get impatient...these take time to reach 250 but you can't rush it with increasing the heat. Butter at a high temp is sure to burn. stir very frequently after you reach the soft ball stage, as the mixture gets very thick. It stirs like cake batter once you get near the correct 250 temp. Used salted butter, as this adds to the taste, and if you don't have a good quality vanilla, skip it; these can stand on their own. They absolutely melt in your mouth. Thanks so much for this recipe that is unforgettable and sure to be on every holiday tray I make for years to come.
I have been making this recipe for 3 years now and absolutely love it! The first time I made it, I cooked the mixture for 2 hours, because I was afraid of burning it. I have since learned to put the mixture on the stove at low temp and walk away for about 1/2 hour. Everything is then melted and slightly warm. I then turn up the heat to medium-hot (#7 on my flat top electric stove) and cook away. It takes only about 1/2 hour of my time this way.
This recipe is a keeper. My caramels came out perfect. I followed the recipe and did not make any changes. I cooked the mixture on medium-low heat and constantly stirred. It took approximately 50 min. to reach 250 degrees. It is a long and slow process, but the results are well worth the effort. I followed a few suggestions made by other reviewers. I made sure not to use a non-stick pan. I used salted butter. I used the water test as well as my candy thermometer to reach the perfect consistancy. I lined my pan with parchment paper. After the caramel had cooled I was able to lift it out of pan easily for cutting. I had started out using a knife to cut the caramel and it was just not working very well for me, so I switched to using kitchen scissors. The kitchen scissors worked out very well. I highly recommend using kitchen scissors for cutting the caramel.
It does not say if you cook it on high, medium or low. I put it in between high & medium. When I poured it out of the pot into the pan, there were large black clumps where it totally burned on the bottom.
We really loved these caramels. Thank you, Barbara. I did make a couple of changes that may help others. I didn't use a 12 x 15 inch pan. I felt this was too large. I used a 13 x 9 x 2 inch to get more height to the caramels. I could have used an even slightly smaller pan, which I will do next time. Also, I read other reviews and noticed there was a problem with a long cooking time. I didn't use a medium sized pot. Instead I used a large pot that just covered the large burner on my electric stove (my pasta pot). This gave the mixture more contact with the heat. Also, I cooked this on Medium heat. When the temperature reached 225 degrees it seemed to stop there. So, I changed the stove setting to half way between medium and medium high. In a couple of minutes the thermometer reached 250 degrees. The caramels are wonderful, just as Barbara promised. Thank you for this really good recipe.
Such a good recipe! I made these for a Christmas gift exchange and people were FIGHTING over the box! They taste just as good, if not BETTER, then the candy shop caramels. I think weather conditions factor into when the caramels are "ready". I live in MN and it is winter now, mine were perfect at 245 degrees. The only change I made was to use dark corn syrup, which seemed to make the boiling mixture much easier to work with then the light corn syrup (it didn't foam up), and I used parchment paper in a 9x13. At the end I added 1 and a half cups of walnuts at the same time as the vanilla, let them cool, then cut them into squares and covered them in chocolate. If it doesn't turn out the 1st time, don't be afraid to try again, the key is finding the temperature that works with your climate. It takes me about 30 mins to make a batch, I start on med heat and turn it up a little every 5 mins or so.
This is a great recipe for caramels... I would do a few things different though... first off, i read a review that suggests pouring onto a cookie sheet... sounded great- more caramels! no... they were about a quarter inch thick- it was pathetic. So, use the 9 by 13 or the 8 by 8... much better. Secondly- I would have definitly cooked them under the 250 mark. Mine are super soft- don't get me wrong, but they arent the type that strings away from your lips as you bite in... they're a little more firm than that, so next time i will definitely cook to about 240-245. I will also probably just use white bakers sugar rather than the brown packed in there as well... i think the brown sugar gave it a grainier texture, and the were more 'dense' than I was going for- but overall, these are amazing!!! It's always a learning process, so --- A+++ in my book!!!
UPDATE 12/2010: HELP, I've been making these for years and this for some reason my caramel stuck to the wax paper. How embarrassing...I don't know what to do about that. A great variation I have used last year and this year is sprinkling sea salt over the top when caramel is hot and just put in the dish. I also line my pyrex with tin foil for easier removal of the finished product. People depend on my every year for my caramel making...love love this recipe. I have been using this recipe for 3 years. Thank you so much Barbara for sharing. This year my first batch came out too soft (way too soft)... and instead of trashing it I decided to scrape it out of the pan and reheat it to a higher temperature (I think it was 270 degrees). BTW - It was a day old, cooled off, and had the vanilla and nuts already. It turned out excellent, better texture and firmness than ever. So, it is possible to revive your caramel! I hope this helps save someone elses precious caramel!!! =) Ever so grateful, Nicole, California
You can save overcooked, hard caramel!!! Like so many of you, I cooked my caramel too long and after it cooled it was more like toffee. Instead of throwing it away, I broke it up and put it back in the pot with about 1/4 cup of hot water and melted it back down. I cooked it to a temp about 20 degrees lower than the recommended temp and poured it back in the pan lined with parchment paper. I let it cool overnight and now I have the perfect caramels!! They are chewy and delicious! So glad I didn't throw it all out and start over!!!
These caramels were very good, but a word of caution is in order. The recipe calls for a medium saucepan, I strongly recommend that you use a LARGE one. As the candy cooks, the water boils out (which is why it takes so long to get to 250) which reduces the syrup, but before that happens it foams and increases in volume. If your saucepan is not big enough... well, use your imagination. It is NOT fun spending hours scraping burned sugar syrup off your burners... or so my wife tells me ;)
This is a fantastic recipe! There are lots of great tips here so I thought I'd share one of my own - I wrapped in wax paper pieces that were 4" x 2.5". I tried several sizes but this is the size that worked for me.
AFter reading reviews I followed the recipe exactly but cooked to 240 not 250. On a flat top stove temp at 5 it took 1 hour. It is light color and soft, delicous. I used pam but would of wiped it with a napkin had I read the review about the grease. A 2nd time I cooked it at a higher temp in between 5 & 6 cooked to 244. I added in about a extra 1/2 tsp vanilla. It is darker, much harder, very good. I topped half with pecans. I poured some in hard candy lollipop molds to make a sugar daddy type pop, so far they are not coming out of the mold easily. I greased the mold but wiped it with a napkin to absorb some of the grease. I also poured this batch onto a silpat in a cookie sheet so you dont need to grease. ( DONT cut on you silpat). Silpats are amazing and keep hard candy such as this carmel, peanut brittles, toffee and hard candies from being greasy. If you dont have a silpat you need one! I have 1 that cost me $5.00 in a cooking store, a tupperware one that was 16.00 and a actual Silpat one that was 16.00 and the only one I do not like is the tupperware one. It doesnt clean well, and though bought at the same time as the others and used the same amount it looks years older. i also dipped an apple at the 244 temp and it looks great havent tried it yet. My tip for this recipe USE A BIG POT. Even being a seasoned candy maker when this started rise in the large pot I used I was nervous. Excellent carmel.
I wish I could give this recipe 4 and a half stars. These caramels are abolutely delicious. I have made them several times, and I have found just a couple problems with the recipe. One, you need a LARGE saucepan. There is no way this recipe will fit in any of my medium pots. And when I cut them into normal size caramel pieces I get approximately 200 caramels, not 60. The other thing I should mention is that cooking to 250 is too long. I have a carefully calibrated candy thermometer and when I cook to 250 the caramels are too hard. I have found that 246 is the best temperature.
These are so incredibly awesome!! So smooth and buttery! I like to use the disposable toaster oven pans (I find them at Wal-Mart) so I can split the mixture to make into different flavors. I've made some with Bailey's, and some with shortbread and chocolate for a homemade version of Twix.
If you try this caramels, you'll fall in love with them!! i'm sure you will not look for another recipe. They taste like a famous brand (and quite expensive!!) of caramels i used to buy, no one would notice the difference. I'm planning to give them as Xmas gifts to my loved ones, but first of all I have to keep my mom away from them, lol, who can resist homemade sweets??? I didn't use any thermometer, so i waited until the mixture was kind of thick and reached the hard ball stage. My caramels were pretty soft the next day, so i put the mixture back into the pot and cooked until they were thicker. Perfect!! thank you for this recipe, seriously this is one of the best recipes i got from this site!! ;)
I have been using this recipe since 2002 and have always had success with it. I give these caramels away as Xmas gifts and every year I get rave reviews.
Great recipe, I got it just right on the 3rd try! Here are a few helpful hints...Calibrate candy thermometer in boiling water to 212 F. Use salted butter and a dash of extra salt for maximum flavor. I had better luck with 1/2 recipe cooked in heavy 2 quart saucepan, such as aluminum, at low to med/low heat for 30-45 minutes. Pour into 8 X 8 pan coated with non-stick cooking spray. I purchased cellophane candy wrappers online, very convenient! Do NOT attempt on a rainy day or in high humidity.
Delicious! So much better than store-bought! The first time I made these, I cooked the mixture to 250F as directed and after cooling in the pan, they were as hard as a rock. I read over several of the reviews again, and thought I'd give the recipe another shot. This time, I cooked the mixture over low-medium heat and stopped at 238-240F (took about 45 min) and it worked! After cooling, the caramels were nice and firm, but not hard. I lined my glass pan with parchment paper, then lightly sprayed it with cooking spray, and after cooling, they lifted out of the pan easily.
I made these caramels yesterday after finding the recipe via Yummly. Let me say, one of the best caramels I have ever eaten! I was worried due to some reviews saying cook to a higher temp and some saying a lower temp so I went with the recipe and pulled it off at about 248 or so. Perfect! I halved the recipe and lined a 9 x 13 baking sheet (not the high side one used for cakes but a cookie sheet) with foil and sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Turned out FINE! Left them to cool for hours while we went out to eat and came back and cut them in strips then cut each strip into about 5 pieces and rolled up the short cuts. It made around 60 pieces of caramel this way. Wrapped in waxed paper and sent them to work with my husband where they got rave reviews! I am definitely using this recipe for my Christmas candies. Next time I will try using a 9 x 9 pan so they will be thicker and I won't have to roll them. The resulting product was creamy and chewy and soft and delicious. Tasted like a brand name store bought wrapped in foil. By the way...I found a lot of reviews saying it takes close to an hour or more to get to the right temp...I don't know if mine was different because I did a half batch or not, but mine didn't take nearly as long to get to 250 cooking on about medium to medium high (6 or 7) and it didn't scorch at all. I continuously whisked it and it was fine.
The caramels had a great flavor. I know a possible reason why some reviewer are having hard caramels. The boiling point and evaporation rates are different at higher elevations. Where I live, for example, in Colorado, you only cook the caramel to about 232 degrees and not 250. It can make a huge difference.
I made these caramels for the first time about 2 weeks ago. It was the first time I've made any type of candy and they came out fantastic. Far superior to anything store bought. I made one batch following the recipe exactly except cooking until 248 degrees because I wanted the caramel to be a little softer. I have made a 2nd batch the same way and made them into caramel pecan turtles and then also dipped some pretzle rods into the caramel, rolled them in chopped pecans and then dipped in melted chocolate. I am going to use this caramel - cooking until about 245 - to make Chocolate Caramel Pecan Cheesecakes - also from this site - which I give to everyone at Christmas. No more unrapping and remelting 12 to 14 bags of caramels. This will be so much more tastey and skips a couple steps. THANKS for the excellent recipe.
My last face-to-face with caramel was when I was like ten or thirteen. It was a disaster! So, needless to say, I was worried. I didn't need to be though, this recipie is great! I did find, however, that trying to double-boil the mixture didn't work, I couldn't get the caramel to temp. So yeah, you totally get to stand there and stir for awhile! Totally worth it though. I'm never buying caramel again!
I'm sorry to give this such a low rating but these didn't turn out so well for me. It came out like a thick too-sweet sauce. Now maybe it was me: I could not get the temp all the way up to 250 degrees so after 40 min of constant stirring, (which maybe was another error on my part) I had to quit. I poured it into a greased cake pan and waited for it to harden, which it never did. It ended up in the garbage. Too bad. Please tell me what I did wrong!
This is a fabulous recipe. I make a double batch. It does boil up quite a bit. I use a dutch oven, put everything together except for the quart of cream. Start it bubbling, then add the cream little at a time, so it doesn't boil over. After I get all of the cream in there I boil it to 220/224 degrees. DO NOT cook this to 250 or you will end up with Werthers type candy, like I did on the first batch. Not bad, but not chewy. It is easier to make a double batch as long as you plan so it doesn't boil over. This takes me almost an hour to make, it takes some time so put in a video and plan on stirring. You won't want the heat too high or it will pop on your hands. Ouch! It makes a lovely gift.
I must have done something wrong. I calibrated my thermometer in boiling water first. I took my time heating the mixture (about 55 minutes) I tested and re-tested all the time for the right stage of candy. When I dumped it on the cookie sheet (pre-heated in the oven) I spread it and waited. When I cut them they were chewy and delicious. As they rested over night wrapped they turned into hard sugary squares. Like eating a brown sugar cube. What could have changed??
There are a ton of reviews, so I am going to let you know what I found most helpful: cook only to 235F (112C)degrees (I did to 250 on my first batch, they taste great but are very hard, had to put them into the oven to cut them, will probably toss out) Check your thermometer to be sure it is registering the proper temp. STIR CONSTANTLY! Wear long sleeves as it does splatter, a large pan helps with this as well. Very good caramels, thank you so much for this recipe!!!
These are delicious and chewy little treats. I haven't ever tried to make any kind of candy so this was my first attempt and I do not own a candy thermometer. I read the reviews before attempting this recipe and knew when the consistency was perfect by testing very often using a bowl of ice water. I would drop the caramel on top of the ice cubes and the drops that stayed on the ice cubes i would poke with my finger when it finally did not stick to my finger I knew it was ready. Also if it doesn't bubble up to almost twice the size it was before heating it may not be ready yet. The Caramel started to thicken a little bit once it was almost done too. All in all this is the most awesome caramel I have ever tasted :D
This is very very VERY Good!!! I loved them just as is, but I started expirementing with it and instead of putting in a dish to harden, I dipped apples on sticks in the caramel while still in the saucepan. Instant Caramel Apples, Delicious!!! I don't need to go to the fair anymore, THANKS!
I love this recipe, i've made it several times usually for Christmas i have yet to review it but i tried a new variation on it today and it is out of this world good! They are great as is of course but the hubby loves these raspberry caramels from a local chocolate shop here. They are very expensive however so i decided i'd give it a go. I added 2T raspberry extract instead of vanilla. They are so good! Every bit as good as the expensive ones! after they are cooled and cut i dip them in melted dark chocolate and then drizzle with white chocolate. YUM!
I have just begun to learn how to cook at age 32. I rely totally on Allrecipes for not only recipes but techniques too. I tried this recipe yesterday for the first time, having never made candy before. It was fabulous !!! My arm got pretty tired from stirring for so long, but I can't even complain about it, the outcome was well worth it. This is so good ! I still can't believe I made this ! Thank you Barbara for posting . Anyone out there leary about making candy has got try this. This is so easy, you will not be disappointed. Thank you again !
I'm so upset. I made a double batch of this caramel because I thought it sounded like a sure thing. I was going to include some creamy caramels in my Christmas goodie boxes that I give away each year. Well, I now have 2 large pans of toffee. It is THAT hard. I can chip away at it and get a little shard of toffee. I started by callibrating my thermometer. Then I read the reviews and decided to bring it to somewhere around 240-245 to make sure I get a soft & creamy consistency and I am not exaggerating when I say it took 2 1/2 hours to bring it to that temperature (and I started the caramels at 11:00 pm - I was not happy at the end). I stirred constantly for 2 1/2 hours! I had the heat adjusted to between 5-6 - I really wanted to prevent scorching. At the end I could tell it was not going to be creamy. I should have done the test where I drop a bit in cold water. I'm so disapppointed and TIRED. I guess I will have to find a recipe that takes a lot of toffee bits. I don't know what to assume about the suggested temperature for this recipe. It did NOT work for me.
This recipe makes a delicious buttery caramel! I found the reviews very helpful on this recipe. I used honey instead of corn syrup. I also replaced the evaporated milk with coconut milk. These two substitutions made the caramel even more wonderful. I had trouble with the thermometer, but found dropping a little caramel into a glass of ice water (as one review suggested) is the best test for consistency. Don't give up, it does take a while but is fully worth it, your friends will think you are a genius in the kitchen when you master this one.
This is the first time I have ever made candy. This recipe was very easy. I have a digital thermometer and calibrated it in boiling water just like some of the reviewers suggested. I cooked the first batch that I made to 248 when I thought I smelled a little bit of a scorching smell. I took it off of the burner immediately. The caramels turned out good but had the hard stick-to-your-teeth consistency and taste of a Sugar Daddy Pop with just a very slight hint of bitterness. I took the second batch only to 243 degrees and it turned out perfect ... buttery, silky and melt in your mouth. Things to remember ... Keep your heat low. It takes a long time to get your caramel mixture to the right temperature. If your burner isn't low you will scorch the caramel - it will be bitter. Secondly, if at first you don't succeed try try again. You won't be sorry!!!!
My husbands cousin gave some of these to us a few years ago for Christmas and I was in love. I asked him for the recipe and make them every year to give to friends for Cristmas and always get raves on them. I cook them to 240 degrees on med hi heat on a electric stove. I hate cutting wax paper so I went on line this year and found a place in Ohio called Sugarcraft that sales cellophane wrappers I bought the 5x5 squares makes life a whole lot easier. I saw in sombodys review about using a pizza cutter I will have to try that. Thanks Barbara for a great recipe.
After reading other reviews, I took this off the heat at 245 deg. Recipe wise, I used 200gm of salted butter and cardomom infused evaporated milk. I poured my caramel into a silicone lasagne tray mould and a silicone 8 x 8" square brownie / fudge pan mould. I did not grease or line either. I took a blunt knife round the top edge to free the caramel from the sides of the mould and then simply pulled it out. THe set was soft and chewy. Perhaps a tiny bit too soft..... I might leave it on a degree or two more next time. The caramel was really nice. It took about 45 mins in total to get to pouring temperature. Portion wise, mine were pretty big bits - at least 1" sqare and I had about 150+ of those - so wrapping took some time ! Cutting it was a breeze - no problem at all. I have uploaded a photo (mine is the one with the knife at the top). I made two large boxes of caramels, one smaller box and 4 gift bags plus some more left to spare. Good recipe to make for including in Christmas hampers. Next time, I'll add some macadamia muts or pecans. I think I'd wrap half as is and coat the other half in chocolate. This is definately one for writing in my recipe book. Thanks for sharing
Simply divine! I made these last Christmas, and everyone went on and on about them. To be honest, I even surprised myself, as I assumed that making caramel from scratch must be harder than this! A bit of advice - let them sit for 24 hours before cutting. It makes the job a lot easier.
Fantastic! You need to watch it as it gets up to temperature as it tends to catch but this is a fabulous recipe - I've made caramels for years but have now swapped this for my usual recipe as it's easier (and cheaper!) to make. Use baking parchment to line your tin (not greaseproof paper) and the caramel just lifts off. I found out too late that I had no evaporated milk so I mixed up dried milk powder with water (1 cup powder to half a cup of water) and it worked just fine. We sprinkled it with salt while it was setting, for caramels aux beurre salé, we also added some chopped walnuts to half the tray - just sprinkle them over and, if necessary, poke them in to the cooling toffee. However, there is one major problem with this recipe: how to stop eating them??? I'm not too sure my waistline will thank you Barbara - lol! Thanks for sharing.
Great recipe, takes about an hour to bring to temp. DO Not use wax paper instead of lightly greased pan. Carmel fused with paper, total waste. Here we go again.
This was my first attempt at making any type of candy, I found this recipe to be very tolerant of my beginner skills. I started making these and realized that I only had a thermometer that went to 220 degrees. I thought I could just "wing it". Well needless to say I didn't heat the mixture long enough, so the caramel wouldn't set. The next day I went and bought the proper thermometer and put the unset mixture back on the stovetop, brought it to 250 degrees and the caramels turned out great. This recipe is extremely forgiving and very easy to follow once you have the proper tools.
I made these for Christmas gifts. I followed the recipe exactly and had no problems. The recipe doesn't state a temp setting but I used medium high "5" on my stove top and it was perfect. I didn't have issues cutting them, I suggest using a buttered pizza cutter.
Do not wrap while even the slightest bit warm or they will stick to the wax paper. Let cool overnight. If anything, undercook these. My thermometer was off and these came out rock hard. I am at high altitude and about 30 minutes of boiling was a good amount of time for my second try. At this point they were set but still easy to chew. Use the cold water test and take off the burner when the caramel is soft, moldable, and makes a ball.
This will be my mainstay recipe for caramels! It's been my first year to make caramels though I am no stranger to candy making. I read all the reviews to garner all the good tips to improve any way possible from the mistakes of the others. In the end, I decided to take the advice to increase the brown sugar by 3/4 cup and decrease the white sugar to 1 1/4 cups. I also opted to use dark corn syrup instead of the light. I added approx. 1/2 tsp of fine sea salt when I added the vanilla AND 1 1/4 tsp. of bourbon. I poured all over chopped pecans in my pampered chef baking stone (medium bar pan) lined with foil, sprinkled the top lightly with more sea salt and on part I added chocolate chips. Once the chocolate melted, I spread it over over the section I wanted covered. As a result of this recipe and my taking the advice of many others in the reviews, I have been 'crowned' queen of caramels!!! LOL They truly are wonderful and seriously they are a hit in my family. I have since made 4 more batches in various ways (with & without salt, with & without chocolate, with & without pecans and also with walnuts)....they are wonderful! Thanks for posting this recipe!! Cooking to the 250 mark worked great for W. Ky and it does take the full 50 minutes or so of stirring.
This is an awesome recipe for caramels. Suprisingly easy to make and taste great. Definately use a Dutch oven to make them.
Great recipe for softer, not too sweet caramels. Works wonderfully for caramel wrapped marshmallows (my take on See's Candies' Scotch Kisses)!!! A medium-sized (3 quart) non-stick saucepan, candy thermometer and non-stick silicone spoon or spatula helps for easy clean up. Also, try using a glass pan vice a regular baking pan so you don't wreck the surface when cutting the hardened candy into portions.
Theese are perfect for dipping in chocolate, or on their own! Turned out flawlessly and were a big hit with friends and family. Easy to make too, just take it slow and watch the thermometer. When it hits the right temperature it very quickly browns and thickens so you need to be ready to remove it from the heat and get it into the pan to cool. It took about 50 minutes to hit the correct temperature and I stirred and watched it the whole time. They cut nicely too, but I found rubbing some olive oil on my knife periodicly helped it glide through no problem. Loved these!
DO NOT USE WAXED PAPER!!! Or at least make sure your carmels are not warm. Mine were just a little warm, but now they are all stuck to the waxed paper. From what I've read, I guess Parchment Paper works better. But these are too delicious to toss out, so I'm working on a way to unstick the delicious goo. Freezing them, and then peeling bits of the waxed paper off under running water worked pretty well.
I used this recipe as a topping for cheesecake, cooking it just until softball stage. Yummy and gooey. I've been looking all over a caramel recipe that actually tastes like caramel. This is definitely it!
I have been using this recipe for a few years now and I've never had a bad batch. It is delicious and perfect! Few tips: 1. Line the pan you pour the caramel mixture into with parchment paper. This way you can lift it out once it is completely cool and makes for easy cutting and also gives you a nonstick surface to cut on! 2. Cut the caramels with a CERAMIC KNIFE. I use my Yoshi Blades and never have a problem with the caramel sticking and it cuts with ease. When you use a regular knife it hurts your arm and takes much longer. 3. Make sure you monitor the temperature from 240* - 250* VERY CLOSELY! It jumps rapidly there at the end. I let my caramel mixture cool overnight at room temperature prior to cutting. I also buy candy wrappers from Michaels Craft Store for $1.99 and use those to wrap my candies. You can store these in the freezer if you are not planning on eating them all right away. I store 1/2 in the refrigerator and 1/2 in the freezer and microwave for 15 seconds when I have a taste for one. Instant satisfaction!
LOVE these! They are easy to make if you follow the recipe - you do need to stir for about 50 minutes (I was was somehow hoping it would be different for me but it wasn't!) I would recommend a good candy thermometer and I had to use my big pot to cook it in. I started in my large saucepan but it kind of "foamed" up when it started to get hot and it was dangerously close to going over. I peraonlly would recomment putting it in a 9x13" pan instead of a 10x15. I thought the caramels would be better a little thicker. I also added sea salt to the top after they had cooled for about 15 minutes....DELISH! Will definitely do that again! FABULOUS!
These were absolutely amazing! My first time making them, they turned out so perfect, I decided to make another batch. The second batch turned out too hard for my liking, so, based on other reviewers saying they reheated them because they weren't firm enough, to get them to a higher temp to firm them up, I reheated them to about 140 degrees, added about 1/4 c heavy cream, stirred them together, and they turned out AMAZING! I pressed a little sea salt on the top of about half of them, wrapped them in wax paper, and took them to our Christmas bunco, and the salted ones were the first ones gone! Totally worth making! Thanks for the recipe!
I made these the other day and I should have heeded the advice of some people to use the drop test and not rely on my candy thermometer. I over-cooked it :( It tasted great but it was more of a hard candy. I tried again today and I tested it every few minutes once it started to boil and it turned out amazing. So happy I tried again!
This recipe worked out flawlessly for me and it was my first time making caramels as well. I dipped them in chocolate and they held up great. It did take a while to reach 250F but well worth the wait. I well definitely be making these again.
Very good, creamy and chewy. I added some finely chopped pecans after adding the vanilla. I think that they are easier to handle when allowed to stay in the pan for an entire day before cutting.
These caramels tasted good, but as a first-time candy maker, even after reading many reviews, I still messed up the texture and they ended up rock-hard. I think that the key may be that the thermometer can only help you get close to the right temp, but the water test works better. I put a drop in cold water at 240F and got a soft ball, but was concerned it would be too soft because my calculated temp was 249F. Reheated to 248F and got a rock-hard candy. It still tastes good, though! Thanks for the recipe, Barbara!
I didn't have cream so I used 250 ml half and half and it turned out delicious!
These caramels were so soft and chewy, with a make your mouth water flavor. They weren't as smooth as I would have liked, but still really good. I wrapped them up in wax paper and gave them as a gift.
Very good. It is important to note that it does take time; however the results are worth it! Lots of requests for these around the holidays. UPDATE - after making these several years, I think I've found out why they take so long to get up to temp for me. The heating element on my electronic stove cycles. Keep that in mind if you are making them on an electronic stove top.
When my 'caramel making' friend moved away and I couldn't just eat her caramels whenever she made them, I decided I better figure out how to make them because caramels are my all time favorite candy. I have made this recipe twice now and they have come out perfectly each time and I absolutely love them...maybe a little too much because i can't stop eating them and they aren't so good for the waistline but they are delicious!!! They do require a long stirring session (approx 45 minutes) to bring them up to 248-250 degrees but its worth the effort. I use a heavy Le Creuset pot which I believe is ideal for this type of recipe.
These taste soooo good! This recipe is really quite simple to execute, assuming that your candy thermometer actually works (grrrr). Comparing homemade caramels to storebought is like apples and oranges; there's no doubt that homemade is amazing and well worth the time and effort. I made 2 batches... the first one I used the full cup of butter and found them to be a little overly buttery/greasy. The second batch I cut the butter down by 1/4 cup and found them to be just right. Thanks! :)
To die for.
I made these for christmas and screwed them up big time! First, I didn't realize it was going to take an hour to make.... And before it reached temperature I realized I forgot to add the heavy whipping cream! But I poured it in anyways and cooked for another hour, resulting in some burned ingredients.... And they were impossible to cut after they cooled. We broke off peices and they were kind of a hard candy. I took them to my family anyways... They loved them! So did I! I don't know what you could do to mess this recipe up! Next year I won't forget any ingredients and give myself time to make them... But I will, for sure! Be making these again! :)
These are amazing. Make sure you use the Cold Water drop method to see when the candy is the right stage you want it. I'll be making these again and try to go for a carder candy, but these are amazingly rich and creamy. My wife LOVES them.
Easy and gained my 92 y/o grandfather's approval. Not bad for a first try. I cooked a bit too long and would fix that by taking it off the heat a degree or two before it reaches temp. The final product was just a bit less "chewy" than I wanted.
Great recipe. I added 1/4 teaspoon salt and it really inhanced the flavor
You know what is like, if you believe Jays old slogan, "Bet you can't eat just one". Definitely 5 star rating. Definitely use large pot. Regular sauce pan will NOT be enough as it does boil up especially at the beginning. 1st time I made these, my candy thermometer measured 250, but caramels were harder than what I expected. My thermometer may be the problem. 2nd. time, I used the cold water method. When a small amount was placed in cold water, I felt the consistency I wanted. I strongly suggest you use both, and when temp rises you can begin to drop into the cold water. I also wrapped in plastic wrap. Using the kitchen table I could wrap about 20 at a time. Just space them far enough apart and spreading them out along the long end of the wrap. I did this on both sides and rolled them toward each other. Then cut with scissors to slice the wrap in half length wise, then for each individual drop. Wrapping does take the most time. 1st. time I had a difficult slicing as it was just too hard. 2nd time much easier. Next time I will cut while still somewhat warm. Please try these. You won't be sorry. I'm sure if you have family members, it won't last long. Hope this all is a great help to you.
Absolutely delicious! I did make a few alterations...I cut the white sugar to one cup & the brown sugar to 1/2 cup & it was still plenty sweet. I can't imagine how intolerably sweet it would have been otherwise. I also used my first batch as a dipping sauce for apples, as well as a syrup for ice cream, so I only boiled it on low for about 30 minutes for just the right thickness. Fantastic recipe!!!
I just burned the heck out of these caramels. The directions don't specify what temp to put the burner on, and I was looking at other caramel recipes for tips-- one said to stop stirring when the mixture began to boil. I think this is what caused it to scald. I had it on medium heat. Are you supposed to cook them on low? I sure wish the instructions had been more specific, as I have never made caramels before. I'll try again another day and cook them on low, I suppose. Bummer! I hate wasting that much butter and sugar!
These are excellent. I have made these over and over again for the past several years. This is the first caramel recipe I tried and I'm sticking with it! I live at 900ft and heating to 249 degrees works perfectly for me. It only takes about 25-30 minutes on my gas range to reach temperature VS. a full hour at best on the electric stove I used to have. I turn the heat to med/high then high shortly after on my super burner and stir CONSTANTLY. I've always used a non-stick LARGE pot and they turn out perfectly every time. There is a comment here about how to determine boiling point and adjust the temp accordingly based on your elevation. Thanks for a fantastic recipe!
When I was a little girl an older neighbor would sell his homemade caramel around Christmas time. Since I've been an adult, I've searched high and low for "Mr Henry's" caramels. I actually tried this recipe last November, and this year I'm already getting request for more! Thanks for giving me "Mr. Henry's" famous caramels.
OMG...these are seriously addicting! I took WhataDish's suggestion to use part honey & used 1/4 cup of honey & 3/4 cup of corn syrup & cooked to just 245 as I didn't want my caramels too hard. I used part of the batch in pecan turtles & then poured the rest into a buttered pyrex baking dish. Had a little problem w/ cutting them. Tried freezing them for 5 minutes as suggested by somebody but the edges were difficult to cut & the center was still a bit gooey. So I cut off the edges (used my pizza cutter) & stuck the center in the fridge for a couple of minutes. I suspect that I probably should have just let them set up at room temp though. I cut mine into really small pieces to make them easy to eat. Love this recipe...thanks Barbara!
First time ever making caramels, or candy of any kind, and it was surprisingly easy to do and turned out so much better than I thought it would!!!! The caramels are delicious ... better than the ones I buy at the store. The extra tips were so helpful, like not using a lot of butter while cooling them (I sprayed with pam and then wiped most of it off). The only problem I had was that I didn't wait for them to totally cool before I cut them and put them in waxed paper, so they stuck a bit to the paper. I will remember with the next batch :)
Love this recipe! Made a batch to dip pretzel rods in, rolled them in toasted coconut and chopped macadamias, and drizzled with dark and white chocolate. Yum! Makes a big batch though. Use a 4qt saucepan at least. I cooked it to 248, because my Calphalon pot would hold enough heat to account for taking it up a couple of degrees.
I made these last night. The flavor is great, however, cooking to 250 made them very hard. I even scored them while still warm and had a very hard cutting them. Will make these again, but will not cook to 250. Great flavor.
This was the best tasting easiest carmel recipe I have ever tried. I get asked for the recipe alot!! EASY, you put everything into one pan, cook, dump into another. It took me 25-30 min to get up to temp. on medium. they are great!! Thanks Barbara!!!
The caramel was very good, but I tried to use it for caramel apples and it got VERY hard on the apples. You couldn't bite into them. I don't recommend this caramel for anything but caramel candies.
Good, easy, recipe. I used two candy thermometers. Dark brown sugar, added salt, used parchment paper in a heavy, pottery type pan 5x9 for poured hot Carmel. Hint, set four glasses on top of parchment while Carmel was cooking. Removed just before pouring. Used blue painter's removable tape on two outside sides to hold down paper while pouring. Carmel filled pan perfectly. I cooked the ingredients on 4 for one hour occasionally stirring with wire whisk, making sure sides were whisked into center. The hour is needed to break down all sugars in mixture; this is a food science technique. Important to use fresh ingredients with salted butter. I stopped at 235 degrees with raised burner temp to 5 for the last ten minutes past one hour. Stirred rapidly after adding vanilla. Cooled on other stovetop burner, then hour later, placed parchment sheet on top and placed in non used oven. Directions did not indicate refrigeration, but due to dairy in product, I did. No problem cutting with good poultry scissors after cooled four hours later before refrigerator. Could use added orange, rum, or other flavored liqueur to boost flavor beyond just good vanilla. Stay close by if you have never made candy before. Sit on a stool with a book and check thermometer frequently. Carmel was perfect, not too soft and not too hard.
These are a wonderful treat! Just make sure that you have plenty of time set aside to make them. Stir them constantly to prevent scorching, and only cook them to 238 F, or else they will turn out too hard. A great recipe-will definitely make again.
They were great, except around 230 degrees my butter started to separate. So i kept going until it reached 250. On the finished caramels I had to scrape the butter off the top. (Any ideas why this happened?) Over all, I would make this recipe again.
These are very easy to make. Thanks so much Pawspatch for your hint. I live at 4700 feet so they are perfect at 241 degrees. A good thermometer is key when making these. I used this recipe to dip pretzel rods which I then dipped in chocolate. Fantastic!
I read all the most negative and positive reviews for this recipe and I was a little nervous that I was gonna screw this up since it was my first time making caramels and because so many people had problems. I actually had to use whole milk instead of evaporated milk because I realized I forgot it and I already had all the sugar and butter in the pot but the recipe STILL worked! I think the key here is not to over cook it and not to undercook it. Don't turn the heat up too high because that will scorch the caramel. Sugar burns really easy. I am at a very high altitude so I thought to be safe I will stop the cooking at 220 degrees and they turned out perfect. I used raspberry extract instead of vanilla. They are absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing!
These are fantastic- I am not sure who wrote it but when you grease the pan grease it VERY lightly! Also dont stop stirring- just keep stirring the whole time!
I give this recipe 6 stars! These caramels turned out like the ones I used to buy at the general store when I was little. I only heated the caramel to 245 degrees. PERFECT consistency. I gave these away as Christmas gifts. Thank you so much for sharing, will make again and again!
I'm a first time candy maker, and I found this recipe very easy. It took quite a while to get to the right temp, and lots of stirring. Well worth the time, though. I had to keep refrigerating these as I wrapped them. Quite messy as they softened a bit. I could have maybe cooked them longer. These caramels taste better than store bought, but I think that I will keep them for holiday gifts only.
I actually made these caramels on Dec. 23, and if you were to read any of the previous reviews, the IDENTICAL thing that happened to MICHELLEJ04 happened to me as well (it is so wierd, it is almost as if she wrote my review...it must be a Michele thing, also being a Michelle, but with 1 L). Well anyway I finally got around to putting them back on the stove & WOW, I'll tell ya, these are soooo good. I went on to use some in the Christmas turtle candies (from this site) and those are the best I've had too! Thanks Barbara!!
I am amazed... I added a full can of evaporated milk... oops... and these carmels still turned out wonderful!!! Highly recommend something this failproof. Again, plan on spending a long time over the stove and wrapping, but prepare to enjoy the results... even if you DON'T follow the directions exactly! Also, remember to use a plastic knife to cut the carmel... slides right through.
Buttery, soft caramels. Everyone who has tasted them has went crazy for them. I will make this again. Be careful not to burn them and with most candies, it takes quite some time for the candy thermometer to reach 250 degrees, so be patient and stir!
Leave it to me to mess up the "fail-proof" recipe! This tastes YUMMY! But it was very hard work. As someone else mentioned, I had a hard time getting the temperature up that high. Took for-e-v-e-r. I finally reached it, then after completely cooling them in a pan, they were VERY gooey. Not even close to just "cut them and wrap 'em anyway"! I ended up scraping it off the pan back into a sauce pan (after completely cooling) and RE-BOILING the mixture. Got it to 250 again, followed reciped and the SECOND time around it was perfect. Tasty and I am sure it is a staple on weight watchers (ha). The taste isn't an issue here - it's perfect from the start! The consistency is the trickiest part (FYI!).
I forgot to add that if you decide to make these and are new to caramel making, please keep in mind that it can be a lengthy process. Mine generally have to bubble away on a med/low heat for a solid 45 mins, maybe more until they reach the 248 - 250 degree area. Also, please, I beg of you, do NOT substitute margarine for the butter. Yes, a cup of butter is a lot, but all things in moderation. I never, ever, make these more than twice a year (no matter how bad my cravings might get!) My Christmas batch is bubbling away right now. I sometimes, (like now for my Christmas batch), use real vanilla bean ... just split and scrape a bean as per normal. The little black flecks in the caramels look sooo yummy!! No doubt about vanilla in there at all, that's for sure. If you're not big on vanilla, skip it altogether -- these caramels have enough of their own flavor that it can easily be left out.
This was a huge hit at a New Year's Eve party. I brought 3/4 of the batch, and between 4 couples and 6 kids, they were either eaten (most) or taken to go (what was left). I've never had a sweet treat go so fast or get such a positive response! I will definitely be making this again. I did use very light butter, and in a 9x13 glass dish the caramels came away from the sides perfectly and were just the right thickness. I believe a 10x15 pan would make them a bit too thin, but I like my caramels larger than the Brachs size. The yield was the same (5 dozen). I also cooked in a 12 quart pot, and it took a little over an hour to complete the cooking. Nice, soft caramel, fantastic flavor and no fillings lost.
I would've given this 5 stars if I didn't have to make changes. I used 2 tsp. vanilla and added 1 tsp. salt to the recipe because I used unsalted butter. Used whipping cream instead of heavy whipping cream because I couldn't find any unexpired cartons at the store. When I made this, I cooked to 250 degrees, poured it into my 11x15 pan and let it set overnight to cool. The next day, it was a gooey mess. Put it back in the pot, melted it and cooked to 260 degrees before pouring it into a 9x13 pan (the other pan made really thin candy). After it cooled it was perfect. I don't know what the problem was with my temperature because I've read some reviewers say they cooked it to 240 degrees. My thermometer is correct; I did the boiling water test to check!