Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Homemade Caramels

Hey Y'all and Happy Tuesday to ya! Hope you had a wonderful weekend! So are you ready? Ready for what you ask? The Holiday Craze!! Starting this weekend it's all holidays all the time. I've already seen tons of Christmas commercials and Lowe's has loads of stuff out. Personally, I'm pumped! I love this time of year. In my family I'm known as the Crazy Holiday Lady and I wear that badge proudly.

Honestly though, I wish Christmas was on January 25th, not December. That way there would be a big enough break in between Thanksgiving and Christmas so people weren't rushing around like crazy. I seriously am obsessed with the holidays, but it always goes so fast. Plus, Jesus was born in the summer so why not move the date back a month. That's my vote anyway.

So to get into the holiday spirit (pun intended since it's almost Halloween :) I decided to try my hand at making some homemade candy. I wasn't sure what to try first, but I knew I wanted to make something I could easily share. I listened to my belly, too. When this baby wants something, nothing can get in it's way!

After looking around online, I stumbled across a recipe I thought was easy enough for a beginning candy maker like myself, and decided to try out these delicious Homemade Caramels!
These things are amazing! I seriously can't put them down! And they aren't like those caramels that get stuck in your teeth leaving you standing there with your finger shoved in your mouth trying to get that little piece that won't get off your tooth.
Basically, all you need is a couple saucepans, preferably a candy thermometer (although I just used a digital one), wax paper and a crazy big sweet tooth, and you're set!
These are going to make great Christmas gifts this year! Since the baby is on the way, we're really focusing on saving right now and Christmas gifts will probably be more homemade than not. It's all worth it for our little munchkin though :)
1 Cup heavy cream
1/4 Cup unsalted butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 Cups white sugar
1/4 Cup corn syrup
1/4 Cup water
1 tsp vanilla

You will need:
8x8 baking dish
Lots of parchment paper
Small saucepan
Large saucepan
Instant digital thermometer or a candy thermometer

Line the baking dish with parchment paper. I put rolled up pieces of tape on the bottom of my dish to keep it down, but you can skip that part. Make sure there's plenty of paper hanging over and up the sides. Spray with nonstick spray.

On medium heat, combine the cream, butter and salt in the small saucepan until butter melts. Remove from heat.

In the large saucepan stir together the sugar, corn syrup and water. Whisk until all the ingredients are fully combined. Wet a paper towel slightly and run the towel along the sides so no sugar is above the mix in the pan.

Turn the heat to medium high, attach the thermometer to the pan, and let it sit until it reaches anywhere from 250-325 degrees. Do Not Stir! Around 250 it will start to boil rapidly and around 320 it starts to get that rich caramel smell and color. 

Anytime between 250-325 degrees you can proceed to this step. Turn off the heat and pour in the cream mixture while whisking slowly. The syrup will almost triple in size at this point.

Turn the heat back on to medium high and let the caramel heat back up to 250. Again, Do Not Stir! 

Remove the pan from heat once it's at 250, quickly whisk in the vanilla and pour the caramel into the prepared baking dish. Don't scrape the pan, in case any of the sugar on the bottom was burned. Tap the dish on the counter several times to remove any air bubbles.

Let it sit for about two hours or longer. I let mine sit overnight. Remove the caramel from the pan by pulling up on the parchment paper. Cut the caramel carefully into the sizes you desire.

Cut up some squares from the parchment paper and wrap them up tight. Serve to your loved ones, or keep them all to yourself! 

Thanks for stopping by!

**original recipe here

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