Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Homemade Caramels

Homemade Caramels..they've been on my mind for way too long and I simply Had to make them today!

 (I thought) I had all my ingredients together to make this delicious candy. Is a pastry brush an ingredient?! Well, I don't have one! I was pretty bummed. 

So..I started scouring every candy book I own. Then..something wonderful happened! I found a super easy caramel recipe in this book by Mildred Brand. I made a couple of minor adjustments and the next thing I knew, I had made my first ever batch of Homemade Caramels!

 Somehow I finally feel validated as an amateur candy maker! Whoo hoo! Now all I have to do is decaramelize my camera.

If you'd like to make some amazing Chocolate Dipped Turtle Sticks using this caramel recipe, click here!
 I omitted the salt as I used salted butter. This is an old recipe that calls for an obsolete size can of condensed milk so I added a little heavy cream. And finally, instead of just vanilla I also added coconut extract.


Always use a heavy saucepan and wooden spoon to make cooked candies.


Yes I needed both of these pictures! The condensed milk just looks so pretty pouring in!

This is the best thermometer ever. I've used it to make countless batches of marshmallows. Like these and these and these!
 Keep stirring!

 Do not scrape the caramel out of the pan. Any leftovers you can just eat for yourself! 
Let cool and completely set before cutting. 
 Lightly spray a long sharp knife with cooking spray. Score the caramel.
 Then, using a gentle sawing motion cut through the candy. Perfect!


 Recipe adapted from Penny's Time Saving Caramels in Ideals Candy Cookbook
Simply Delicious Caramel Recipe
1 cup salted butter
2 1/4 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup light corn syrup
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/8 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract *if you don't care for coconut, just use one full teaspoon of vanilla*

In a heavy saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in sugar. Then add corn syrup mixing well. Add condensed milk and heavy cream, stirring constantly. (this is when I clip on my thermometer making sure it doesn't touch bottom of pan) Cook over medium heat continuing to stir constantly. Cook to 245 degrees. Remove from heat and stir in flavorings. Pour into dish prepared with parchment paper and cooking spray. Now you can lick the spoon!
Let candy sit till completely cool and set. Score and cut. I cut mine after 5 1/2 hours. Next time I think I'll let mine set overnight to completely "harden". These are soft, chewy & delicious!
Wishing You A Sweet Day From
Sugartown Sweets
Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a comment. :o)

36 comments:

  1. Thank you Britt! Hubby gave them a 10! :)




    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will make with Anise flavoring. There is a candy store in Montana that makes the licorice ones..

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Hi Bev! I just love it. Of course you could just use vanilla..i'm a nut for the coconut flavor. Let me know if you try it!

      Delete
  3. First time making caramels, have chosen your recipe!! Can't wait to make these. ~~ Nancy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great Nancy! Let me know how you like them..this was my first ever batch as well! We all loved them and can't wait to make more for the holidays. :o)

      Delete
  4. Where do you find 15 oz cans of condensed milk? All of them are 14 oz

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So sorry Stacy! It should say "14 oz. can". Thanks for the correction. :o)

      Delete
    2. That wow plains why they came out hard. We turned them into suckers. Thanks for the information.

      Delete
    3. Sorry again for the confusion Stacy..but i may have to try it your way! I love caramel lollipops! :)

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. Hi Kelly! These caramels will last about a month stored at room temp in an airtight container. I've heard people say they freeze or refrigerate them to last longer..just be sure they're (again) in an airtight container. I've not chilled mine though..they've never lasted that long around my house! Thanks so much for stopping by. :o)

      Delete
    2. Thanks! These turned out great! I wrapped them and stored them in 2 glass jars. Right now they are in the garage chilling until I take them to Christmas gatherings!

      Delete
    3. That's awesome Kelly! These are one of my family's all-time favorite candies. So happy you like them and thank you so much for taking the time to leave me a sweet comment! :o)

      Delete
  6. when do you score the caramels? Yours look fantastic! - Tamarah

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Tamarah! I score them after they've completely set. I score, then use a sawing motion with a very sharp knife. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  7. I followed the directions to the T BUT I doubled the batch. Mine didn't firm up enough and were too sticky to cut. I will use caramel for something else because it tastes so good. Want to try again tonight in single batches. Do you think that was the problem? My mom said it "wasn't hot for long enough" although I got it up to 245 and took off as instructed?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Danna! I'm so sorry your caramels didn't set up properly. While I've made countless batches of caramels, I've never doubled the recipe.

      That being said, from what I've read, there should be no problem in doing so as long as you use a larger pot. Plus they will take longer to cook and cool. I usually let mine set overnight covered loosely with a sheet of parchment paper. I also do not refrigerate them.

      The only other thing I can think of is a rule my Mom always followed..never make cooked candy on a rainy day.

      I hope you do try them again and please let me know how they turn out for you.

      Happy candy making! :o)

      Delete
  8. Can something else besides corn syrup be used? I don't use that in my diet at all

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Amber! You can use something else! You can use honey although it will make a difference in the taste. You can also use a granulated sugar and water combo as a substitute. Just google "corn syrup substitute" to get the exact measurements and directions. Hope this helps and thank you for stopping by. :o)

      Delete
    2. Be careful not to use a corn syrup replacement that is mostly sucrose, you need a glucose and/or fructose replacement to prevent the caramel from crystallizing (like sand in your caramel gritty). I tried rice syrup with disastrous results =(.

      Delete
  9. I used your Peanut Butter recipe Caramel and they turned out great. These are next ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's awesome! I just made the PB caramels last night..they are my favorite! I think you'll like the regular ones too. Thank you Rose! :-)

      Delete
  10. Looks heavenly! Have you ever tried this with nuts?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Yes..I have! My family's favorite candy I make are my Chocolate Dipped Turtle Sticks. I've also made them with almonds..but pecans are their first choice. Thanks for leaving me a comment. :o)

      Delete
  11. Hi! Would you suggest any changes at a high altitude? I like at 7000ft and am so excited to try this recipe but just wanted to make sure the temperature or anything didn't need to be adjusted! Thank you :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Lauren! 7000 ft! My hubby and I stayed in Bryce Canyon last year and I stayed -short of breath- during our visit..still loved the park! So while I have no experience cooking caramels at high altitude, I googled it and found some information.

      Bakingwithaltitude.com suggests the following: A helpful hint for adjusting your candy cooking temperature is to lower it by 2 degrees Fahrenheit for every 1,000 feet you are above sea level. So, if you live 5,000 feet above sea level, you would lower your cooking temperature by 10 degrees. They have additional info as well that you may find helpful.

      I would love to hear back from you as to how your caramels turn out! Happy candy making, Karen :o)

      Delete
  12. Hello :)
    Made them today and it smells incredible good :))
    but i have a little problem... the finished caramel have sugar crystals in- and outside :( i used my candy thermometer, watched it all the time and remove the pan at 245F.
    It taste like caramel but the crystals .... :(((
    what did i do wrong??
    hugs from germany
    sandra

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Sandra! I am so sorry you had trouble with the caramels. Honestly I have made these too many times to count and have never had mine crystalize.
      A couple things, make sure your heavy bottomed cooking pot is spotless and when candy is finished don't scrape the pan to get out the last bit of caramel.
      I did some research after getting your question and also wonder if you might be cooking in a humid environment. One more thing you can try would be to wash down the sides of the pan once the candy comes to a full boil. Using a pastry brush dipped in water just gently push down any undissolved sugar crystals down into the pot. I hope you try making them again and your caramels turn out perfect! I'd love to hear back from you. Hugs from Georgia, Karen!

      Delete
  13. Hi Karen, thanks for your answer :)
    -The pan was clean, no spots.
    -I didn't scrape the pan out
    -no humid environment

    I will try it again with the pastry brush.
    I can do it!!! :))

    hugs
    sandra

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so welcome Sandra. I can't wait to hear back from you that your caramels turned out perfectly! :-) :-) :-)

      Delete
    2. now now nooow *hurray* :D
      look
      http://www.bilder-upload.eu/show.php?file=6a31d0-1482759634.jpg

      Delete
    3. They look awesome, Sandra!! I love how you cut them and thanks for letting me know how great they turned out! Score one for the candy victory! :o)

      Delete