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Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Caramels

I found a few recipes for homemade caramels, but the problem was I didn't have the ingredients for any of them. So, if you know me, you know that didn't stop me! LOL  I compromised and combined what I did have into one consolidated recipe. Notice that there is NO butter or vanilla! The hubby said that the result is just as good if not better than Werther's Caramels! Woo Hoo!

1 cup Heavy Cream 

1/2 cup Half & Half
1 cup granulated Sugar
1 cup packed Light Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt

Other tools and supplies... Candy thermometer, parchment paper and waxed paper.

In a heavy saucepan, combine cream, half & half, sugars and salt. Over medium to medium high heat bring mixture to a boil while stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. (Make sure the pot is double the size you think you need, because this mixture foams up and will make a huge mess if the pot is not big enough!)

Once the caramel
 comes to a boil, attach candy thermometer and stop stirring.

While the caramel is boiling, prepare your dish. Butter an 8x'8 baking dish, line with parchment, and then butter the parchment. Make sure you leave some parchment showing on two ends of the dish. This will give you 'handles' to lift the caramel out when it is set.

Continue boiling, without stirring until the temperature reaches 245 degrees, the firm ball stage. Don't turn your back or walk away at this point. The caramel can foam over and burn on the stove, or it could boil over on you and cause serious burns. This caramel doesn't wash off. It sticks and burns, so use caution during this stage, and you'll be fine! (Keep kids away from the stove/kitchen while getting the candy up to temperature!)

Remove from heat and pour into your prepared pan. Let the caramel rest in a safe place out of reach (so little fingers won't be tempted... like the hubby here!) for about least 8 hours or overnight before cutting. It should be completely cool and set. It will be a little tacky.

To cut, lift the caramel using the 'handles' of parchment you left showing. Turn it out on a cutting board that your have lightly sprayed with oil. Peel the parchment away and cut as desired. I wrapped mine individually in strips of wax paper. This recipe made 100 wrapped candies of various sizes. Next time, I'm going to cover some in milk chocolate! :-)

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