Homemade Caramels

12
16

These treats are one of the reasons why the baby weight didn’t just “fall off” after I gave birth to my first son David.

My mom has made caramels in the fall and winter for as long as I can remember. A lot of my family recipes come from my dad’s side as his mom really loved to bake. This recipe, though, comes from my mom’s mom!

I’ve made these a few times and have already learned that they require a lot of attention and precision. The temperature they need to hit in order to set their hardness needs to be exact, and the time it takes to get there is also really important.

The caramels I made this weekend got to temperature a little faster than anticipated, and part of that is because my stove at the house is a little hotter than my last one. I need to figure out the right setting and keep practicing. A few essential tools to assist you in your caramel making are a great thermometer and possibly an automatic pot stirrer! This recipe requires about 30 minutes of constant stirring, so if you aren’t able to do that I’d definitely check out the pot stirrer. If you are able to sit near your stove and stir, use a wooden or silicone spoon to stir.

Homemade Caramels

yields: about 30 caramels // time: approx. 45 minutes, approx. 30 minutes required stirring

2 cups Brown Sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 pound butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

In a medium sauce pan on low heat, melt butter. Add sugar, corn syrup, and sweetened condensed milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat then turn the heat down a bit to maintain a simmer. Attach thermometer to the side of the saucepan. Stir constantly for about 30 minutes until caramels reach 248 degrees. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour into a heavily buttered pan (11×7) and let cool. Cut into squares and wrap in wax paper*.

*I found precut squares for wrapping papers on amazon in case you are interested!

Enjoy!

Leave a Comment

Comments (24)

  1. Kelly says
    Posted December 16, 2019

    Do you use light or dark brown sugar? Or do you find it doesn’t matter?

    Thanks

    • Beth Mann says
      Posted December 31, 2019

      Hi Kelly,

      I didn’t have enough of the light brown sugar when I made my first batch, so I used one cup light and one cup dark. They tasted amazing!!! So I think you would be good either way!

  2. Siri says
    Posted December 16, 2019

    Thanks for sharing! I also have a caramel recipe from my mom’s mom that I make every year around Christmas time 🙂

  3. Posted December 16, 2019

    Mmm, this sounds delicious! Family recipes are the best! ❤️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

  4. Jessica says
    Posted December 16, 2019

    I loved watching these stories. And I love caramel! I’ll have to try these. Thanks for sharing your family recipe. 🙂

  5. Michelle says
    Posted December 16, 2019

    These look amazing! What size pan do you use? And any tips for cutting them?

    • Kate says
      Posted December 16, 2019

      I turn the pan over onto a cutting board and slice into strips, then cut into squares!

      • Beth Mann says
        Posted December 31, 2019

        Ohhhh, good idea! I didn’t think to do that, I cut them right out of the cake pan….this way would be much easier, thank you Kate!

  6. April says
    Posted December 17, 2019

    I’m not a big candy maker, but do you think using a digital meat thermometer would work?? Lol. I’m thinking it would be nice to set the temp and have the alarm go off. 🤣

    • Laura says
      Posted December 18, 2019

      I was wondering the same thing! I might give it a whirl! I don’t have a candy thermometer, but I do have a digital meat thermometer!

    • Emily says
      Posted December 21, 2019

      Look up the ice water method! It works!

  7. Thelma says
    Posted December 17, 2019

    Unsalted butter?

    • Kate says
      Posted December 17, 2019

      I used salted!

  8. Tosha says
    Posted December 17, 2019

    These look so great! Possibly stupid question: are these chewy caramels or more like hard candy? THANKS for sharing!!

    • Kate says
      Posted December 18, 2019

      Not a stupid question at all! These are chewy! The temperature you bring them to determines how chewy and soft they are!

  9. Stefanie says
    Posted December 19, 2019

    Have you ever tried pouring the caramel into a silicone mold so you don’t have to cut them into squares? Just wondering if that would work. You could make some cute Christmas shaped caramels. Or any season really 🙂

    • Kate says
      Posted December 19, 2019

      No I haven’t tried that!

  10. Dani Allen says
    Posted December 19, 2019

    Hey Kate! Can you tell me where did you get the gray vest you were wearing when you were cleaning your van on Sunday? I believe you were wearing it again on Tuesday night and you got rained on lol
    Thank you and Happy Holidays to you!

    • Kate says
      Posted December 19, 2019

      I’m afraid it’s many years old from Athleta and no longer available!

  11. Jennifer says
    Posted December 20, 2019

    Hi, what size can of sweetened condensed milk do you use?

    • Kate says
      Posted December 20, 2019

      14oz!

  12. Lorrie Kay Douglas says
    Posted December 22, 2019

    Just made this today and it is awesome!!! So good and easy to make. The precut wax sheets are wonderful too. Thank you!!!

  13. Tamara says
    Posted December 26, 2019

    Can you post the recipe for the pastries your sister was making the other day? I used to make them with my best friend and her grandma when I was younger. Great memories but I could never find the recipe!

  14. Beth Mann says
    Posted December 31, 2019

    I made these three times this Christmas! The first time they came out perfect!!! The second, they turned out a little harder that I had wanted (but the candy thermometer had a water in it), but they turned out like a slow poke, so my hubby loved them! Then the third batch they were too soft. I think I got to temperature to quickly. Yes, you have to be precise! But they tasted incredible!!!! Thank you so much! Happy New Year!!!