Recently I’ve had a major sweet tooth. To help me deal with this atrocious issue, my sister reminded me about a caramel recipe given to us over a year ago by Br. Danish; man is it good. In the pictures you’ll see that I cut the caramel into 2”x2” pieces, I recommend you cut them into smaller bite size pieces because the caramel is very chewy. This recipe makes about 2.5 pounds of caramel.
Prep Time: About an hour
- 1/2 pound butter (two sticks)
- 1 pound light brown sugar (buy a 1 pound box so you don’t have to measure)
- 8 oz. light corn syrup
- 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
Note: You also need a thermometer that’s accurate to within 1-2 degrees. I used a digital probe thermometer. Mine did not have a clip on it, but one like that would be ideal because then you can attach it to the pot. Don’t get an analog kind because they are not accurate enough. 1-2 degrees off makes a noticeable difference in this recipe
Use a heavy pot. If you use a thin pot, the caramel might scorch on the bottom. In my case, I could not do this (I didn’t want to buy a new pot since I didn’t know if I’d be successful or not.) I used my pressure cooker and just folded a long piece of foil paper into a square to place underneath the pot on the stove. I guess this is the poor man’s way of making a heavy pot. 🙂
- Melt butter in the medium sized pot.
- Add the brown sugar and salt and let the sugar start to melt.
- Stir in corn syrup, mixing well.
- Gradually add the condensed milk, stirring constantly
- Cook uncovered over medium low heat (the slower you cook it, the better it will taste. It should take a good 20 minutes), stirring and scraping the bottom often to prevent scorching until it reaches 244-245 degrees.
Note: When you first start cooking it, it will look like the fat is separated from the sugar. That is ok. It will stay that way until about 200 degrees. At around 212 degrees it will start bubbling a lot, and that’s ok too. The color will start to change around then as well. Be ready to move quickly when you get to around 240 degrees. Have the vanilla measured and ready. Have the pan next to the pot and make sure the handles are not to hot for you to hold while pouring or just have some pot holders ready. If you take it off even 2 degrees too late, the caramels will be very hard.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
- Pour into well buttered 13”x9” pan (I used about 1Tbsp of butter). Make sure the pan is buttered well before you begin.
Note: Getting the caramel out of the pan is always very difficult. Even with the butter, you will have to use a metal spatula to get it out. Let it cool and cut into bite size squares and enjoy!
The caramel made by this recipe is very sticky, so if you want to store it after cutting it you will have to wrap each piece in wax paper or dip them in chocolate. As you can see I dipped mine in chocolate. 🙂
All you have to do it coat the caramels with some melted chocolate. You can use chocolate chips but they are not ideal. They have too much stabilizer and not enough cocoa butter since they are formulated to keep their shape in cookies. I use just use Ghirardelli’s Semi-Sweet chocolate bars chopped into pieces. You can find them in the baking section and they are more formulated for melting. The best is if you can find the chocolate disks that are specially made for coating. They will form the best shell.
The only thing that you have to be careful of is that you melt the chocolate carefully. If you don’t want to temper it, then the chocolate should never go above about 95 degrees. To “properly” coat with chocolate it has to be tempered. To learn how to temper the chocolate click HERE. I tried to melt some white chocolate to make the stripes, but that did not work out too well an that’s why I am not mentioning it in this recipe.
So get in the kitchen and enjoy this chewy chocolatey treat!