Monday, March 2, 2015

The Best Ever Homemade Caramels

Awhile back I posted a Caramel Recipe that I thought was fantastic but I lied....this is the best recipe ever.  I have given these Caramels out as gifts and everyone has asked for the recipe and has told me that they are the best they have ever had so clearly the post title is accurate...The BEST Homemade Caramels.  I am so glad I was cruising Pinterest and found this recipe because from here on this will be my go to recipe.  They make for a great gift and one batch makes a bunch of them.
  You will need:
1 cup of butter (2 sticks)
4 cups sugar
2 cups light karo syrup
2 (12 oz) cans evaporated milk
2 tsp vanilla
1. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper.  I like to do this because it makes it easy to lift the entire sheet of caramels out and then you can easily cut them on the cutting board.  If you choose not to use parchment paper just generously grease the jelly roll pan.
2.  Add 2 sticks butter, sugar, and karo syrup to a large heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat. Stir over medium heat until mixture begins to boil, about 5-10 minutes.
3.  Slowly add the evaporated milk so that the mixture maintains a constant boil.  Once you've added the milk and things boil it tends to expand so be sure to use a pan that is larger than you might think you need.  I learned the hard way when I first made caramels and burnt my stovetop pretty bad when it boiled over.
4.  Stir the mixture regularly, scraping the sides until it reaches a firm ball stage (that is about 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer). This can take quite a long time so don't be surprised if you are still waiting 45 minutes to an hour later.  If you don't have a candy thermometer you can check the caramels the filling a glass with cold water and drop a spoonful of caramel in the water.  Pull the caramel out of the water and see if it holds together in a ball.  If it doesn't it isn't ready yet.  Just keep checking until it is firm and pliable, but still sticky.  Once you reach 240 degrees F or the firm ball stage, remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  The original recipe called for just 1 tsp. of vanilla but I found that I like these with 2 tsp of vanilla.  It just richens up the flavor a bit more.
5.  Pour caramels into the prepared pan and refrigerate until cooled and hardened. Cut caramel into small pieces and wrap in wax paper.  The caramels will seem very hard at first but they soften quickly so if they get too soft while cutting them just stick them back in the fridge for a few minutes to firm them back up.  I find that it's much easier to cut them when they are good and firm.  I usually cut my wax paper while I'm waiting for them to get cold.  I wrap mine like a Jolly Rancher would be so that means you will want to have your wax paper cut in rectangles and cut enough that you can wrap your caramels and twist each end of the wax paper.

Recipe and directions adapted slightly from Tastes Better From Scratch.

 The lines on my caramels above are from the parchment paper.  I had already started cutting some of my caramels when I took this pic and I didn't realize I put them back in the tray upside down so you are seeing the weird lines that the parchment left.  Don't worry you'll never see that when you cut them and wrap them.

I cut my caramels to be about an inch long but some people like them to be squares or even to roll them into a tube shape so whatever works for you.
I hope you enjoy these little bites of Heaven!


  1. Lindy, these look absolutely heavenly and your photography is amazing! Thanks so much for sharing your project on Best of the Nest!

    1. Thank you so much. Your nice comment made my day. Great party you host.


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