October 28, 2008

Vanilla Caramels

You can try this recipe, but don't say I didn't warn you.

Oh, it might be okay for you people with lots of patience, but if you're the restless sort who doesn't like to wait (who, me?), or one who requires immediate gratification (who, me?), do yourself a favor and go buy a pint of Ben & Jerry's and sit in front of the TV for an hour instead. Your restless soul will thank you.
Things started out just peachy. Put 2 cups heavy cream and 1/2 cup condensed milk in Pan #1 and warm it up.Put some corn syrup, water, and granulated sugar in Pan #2 and heat until the sugar dissolves. The recipe says to use a wet pastry brush to wash down the sides of the pan. This prevents sugar crystals from forming, which will make the candy grainy.

Using a tiny brush to "wash down" the sides of the pan wasn't fun.
The recipe says to reduce the heat now. (Whaaa? Isn't that just going to take longer?) Oh yeah, reduce the heat and cook until the temperature (on the candy thermometer) reads 250 degrees. The recipe doesn't tell you how long this is going to take.
Cut one stick of butter into little cubes. This was fun. I like butter and it didn't take very long.
When the candy thermometer reaches 250 degrees, add the butter and the milk mixture to Pan #2.

This made the temperature go from 250 degrees waaaay down to 225 degrees.
Which wouldn't be bad, except now you have to cook it, stirring constantly, until it climbs back up to 244 degrees.
Chained to the stove, stirring constantly. I whistled to pass the time, dozed for a minute, and wondered why I didn't pour myself a glass of ice water for this candy-making marathon before I was chained...
...because that boiling mass of sugar lets off a lot of heat! Ahhh, the thermometer finally registered 244.
I poured the candy into Pan #3, which was lined with parchment and sprayed with cooking oil.

Allow the candy to sit overnight. Whaaa? Overnight? You mean I have to wait an entire day to sample this goodness?

Okay, I waited overnight.

I marked the candy in 1" squares and sprayed the knife with cooking spray. The caramels were kind of hard to cut. Maybe if I let the knife sit in hot water it'll cut through this brick. Well, that's a little better. I must have cooked them a little too long (dang thermometer!).

Okay, done.

I cut little squares of waxed paper, wrapped the little caramels, and twisted the little ends.
Then I took this lovely picture of very tasty caramels that I can't eat because I don't want a $43,000 dentist bill. Ben & Jerry's, on the other hand, won't stick to my teeth and pull my caps off.

I'll take a pint of Cherry Garcia (R), please.


  1. Well it certainly looks good enough to eat...but I'm with you don't need the dental bill!

  2. These look great, I love carmels...and I don't have any caps hee hee!! I'll just eat a couple for you Karen!

  3. Ok if you could see me I am bowing down at your feet. Caramel is one of the hardest things for me to make. Yours looks wonderful and perfectly shaped. I also thought it was funny that you were able to take pictures. I would have dropped my camera in there or burned my caramel while I was trying to focus. Great Post!!

  4. So this looks yummy!! Can I have the recipe? Though I don't have patience either (which is why I buy instant pudding instead of the cook and serve hehe) I would really like to try it.

  5. wow! These are beautiful and even though me and candy making don't usually get along, it's one of my goals to make caramels this year so I will be making these for sure!

  6. Oh forget it, I need to buy a thermometer this weekend so this recipe can definitely go in my bag of tricks. Will make fantastic stocking stuffers :) Don't chew them, just let them melt in your mouth...yum! Thanks!!!

  7. Aaahhh, that's more like it - love 'em! (Know what you mean about the dentist's bill, I have a mouth full of fillings)

  8. They look delicious! I make caramels and truffles each year for Christmas, but I try to give them alllll away!


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