Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Homemade Caramels

Last fall, I made some crafty treat bags and wanted something to put in them besides the usual chocolate.  I was feeling especially motivated that day, so I decided I would make caramels.  We use to make them as a fundraiser for hockey, but I had never made them on my own - I didn't even have a recipe.  I explored some recipes to find the typical ingredients and set out to develop my own.  The first try was an absolute FAIL. By the time they had set, they were rock hard. The second set was SO MUCH BETTER. Probably the best caramels I had ever eaten. I thought maybe I was just full of myself, but when I had received a similar response from others, I knew it wasn't just me. They were a hit. Wanting to make sure it wasn't just a fluke, I knew I needed to test it again before sharing the recipe, so this fall I made another batch. They were definitely just as good, 


  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 tsp Watkins double strength vanilla**

  • Grease 12” x 15” glass baking dish
  • Melt butter in a 4-quart pot on the stove
  • Combine sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, evaporated milk, and heavy whipping cream, then stir into the melted butter
  • Continue to stir the mixture on medium heat until it reaches exactly 245.5 degrees F and your arm feels like it is going to fall off
  • Remove from heat promptly at 245.5 degrees F and stir in the vanilla
  • Pour slowly into the greased baking dish and let cool overnight before cutting
  • Cut into squares and wrap in wax paper. Enjoy!


**a little back story here. I have a very large bottle of Watkins double strength vanilla that I’ve had for what feels like forever. It’s been so long that I forgot it was double strength. When I was browsing recipes for caramels, most called for roughly 1 tsp of vanilla, so when I played around with developing my own recipe, I tried to use roughly that much. I called my mom to tell her I needed more Watkins vanilla (The Watkins company in my hometown, so I wanted my mom to get the vanilla for me.) Mom said, “okay, do you want the regular, or the double strength again?” At which point I said, “say what?” And promptly walked to my baking cupboard and pulled out the vanilla to find that it was in fact, double strength, and I was therefore only suppose to use HALF of what recipes called for. So like 1/2 tsp of it for caramels.

Moral of the story, sometimes mistakes turn out good. I swear the extra vanilla is what makes these so tasty!!

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