They say it’s supposed to snow here (in Minnesota) tomorrow. I am not excited. My son on the other hand is bouncing off the walls with joy. I used to love snow when I was his age too. Being an adult that has to drive in the snow though, my feelings have drastically shifted. No longer is snow for making snowmen and snow forts. It’s a frozen to my windshield and needs to be scrapped, it needs to be shoveled off the driveway, it’s COLD and I’m not a big fan.
Although I’m not excited about the shift in the weather, I’ve been getting in the Christmas mode though with the start of DIY Christmas Fridays this week (be on the lookout tomorrow for another gift DIY instructions post). I think that making homemade soft caramels intimidates most people. I’m here to tell you though that they aren’t too difficult to make. The cutting and wrapping step is time-consuming, but with a candy thermometer, these are pretty fail-proof.
If you don’t have a candy thermometer, you can find one here: Wilton Candy Thermometer. You will be getting these caramels up to 243-245 degrees F and to monitor that properly, you need the candy thermometer.
These are ALWAYS a hit and I usually make them at Thanksgiving and Christmas. The ingredients will cost you approximately $10, without the wax paper for 1 batch. I can make several caramel gift bags out of each batch. Like last year, I will be giving these to my kid’s teachers along with another small gift for Christmas. I also made sure to give a bag to my kid’s bus drivers (they don’t go to the same school, so they have different drivers.) My family now expects me to bring them to both Thanksgiving and Christmas. I was thinking though they would be a great treat for Halloween as well. (I don’t recommend you passing out homemade caramels to trick-or-treaters). These would be great for a Halloween Party though!
Homemade Soft Caramels
1 pound butter (salted, this is the whole box of 4 sticks)
1 bag of light brown sugar
16 ounces Karo light corn syrup
1 can Eagle-Brand sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1. Take a 9×13 pan and line with parchment paper.
2. In a large pot, over medium-high heat, melt your butter. Mix in brown sugar. Cook until mixture is boiling.
3. Add the Karo syrup. Stir well. Remove pot from heat, add the sweetened condensed milk. Return pot to stove-top. Stir well.
4. Turn up your heat to high. Add your candy thermometer to the pot. Stir constantly until the temperature reaches 243-245 degrees F.
5. Remove the pot from heat. Add vanilla. (This will bubble and sizzle a bit, it’s normal). Carefully pour the caramels into the 9×13 pan lined with parchment paper.
6. Allow caramels to cool and then place in the refrigerator overnight or for several hours.
7. Remove caramels from refrigerator and allow to “warm up” a bit (an hour or so). Remove caramels from the 9×13 pan by grabbing the parchment paper and lifting up. Place the entire block of caramel on a cutting board. Cut caramels into bite-size piece and wrap with small pieces of wax paper.
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