For the holidays, my mom always makes homemade caramels. Ironically, I called her a few days ago for the recipe and she had actually just left the grocery store where she had just bought all of the ingredients to make them! Great minds think alike :) A word of caution though....year-after-year, my mom has forgotten the last step of adding the vanilla to the cooked caramel. It has become a family joke that always makes us laugh. So don't forget the final step of adding the vanilla (but if you do, I hope you smile and think of my mom!)
Here is mom's recipe, in her own words:
3 C white sugar
2 1/2 C white corn syrup
3 pints whipping cream
2 tsp vanilla [ha ha]
Mix sugar, syrup, and 1 pint of cream in a large pot on the stove.
Cook to soft ball stage, stirring constantly.*
Note: be sure to use a good quality candy thermometer that actually indicates the different stages of candy cooking
Add 2nd pint of cream and cook to soft ball stage again.*
Add 3rd pint and cook to 242 degrees according to original receipe - but I always try for 238 ish (it makes for a softer caramel)*
stir in VANILLA
Add in 1 C. chopped nuts if desired.
Pour into well greased 9 x 13 pan.
When cool cut into squares and wrap.
Note: Mom always had the colored foil squares from the cake and candy shop to wrap the caramels, it really makes them look festive. You can also pre-cut squares of waxed paper to roll the caramels (just imagine how saltwater taffy is rolled in waxed paper). Twist the ends of each side to secure. It is also a good idea to somehow indicate plain caramel vs. caramel with nuts. You can just package each in a different color (i.e. plain caramel in red foil and with nuts in green foil).
*Be sure to stir this all the time or cream will scorch
Love you MOM (had to keep this in here because it makes me smile)
Pictures will be posted soon!
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