The Best Homemade Caramels

I’m so excited to share my MOST favorite candy recipe, for The Best Homemade Caramels…ever. They were a family secret…until now!

the best homemade caramels | oldsaltfarm.com

 I love making {and eating} homemade candy through the holidays, but these caramels are hands down my favorite.    If you’ve never made candy before, maybe because you’re a little afraid of a candy thermometer, don’t be!  You can totally do it, and it’s most definitely worth it!!!

the best homemade caramels | oldsaltfarm.com

These caramels are rich and chewy, and totally addicting.  Seriously.  Right now they are doing their best from inside the cupboard to get me to come and eat some more, but I’m resisting temptation.  We’ll see how long I can resist.  ☺Wrapped up in twisted wax paper, they are a perfect addition to a holiday plate of goodies, placed inside a mason jar or takeout box for delivery, or in a bowl for guests in your home or at a party.  Looking for a delicious hostess gift?  These would most definitely fit the bill!

A few tips when making caramels:

1.  Check your candy thermometer for accuracy!  Boil a pot of water, and place your thermometer in the water. It should read 212 degrees Farenheit.  If it doesn’t, you’ll need to make the adjustment when cooking your candy, and either add or subtract the degrees that it’s off.

2.  Have a cup of cold water ready—I use this method in addition to the thermometer, and sometimes I rely on it even more.  Just drizzle a little bit of the cooking candy in the cold water, then check the consistency to see if it’s what you like!

3.  You’ll need to be stirring constantly, so the caramels don’t burn. If it does, you’ll end up with scorched candy and little brown flakes throughout. They you’ll have to throw the whole thing out and be mad, and have to start all over again.  NOT like I’m speaking from personal experience or anything, lol.

4.  Prepare ahead of time…set out buttered dish, vanilla, and chopped nuts before you start cooking your candy.  Why? See #3.  :)

5.  Use real butter.  Trust me.

6. The recipe calls for unsalted butter, and then salt to be added into the recipe.  If you have to use salted butter, then omit the additional salt. I always use unsalted butter for baking/cooking, so I can control the salt, but sometimes that’s all you have!

the best homemade caramels | oldsaltfarm.com

Homemade Caramels

Simply Kierste
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Candy

Ingredients
  

  • 1 c. unsalted butter 2 sticks
  • 1 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 c. light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ c. heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. chopped walnuts optional

Instructions
 

  • Combine all ingredients except vanilla and nuts in a large saucepan.
  • Cook over low to medium heat, while stirring constantly, until the caramel has reached a warm golden brown color and has reached the 244º F on a candy thermometer. I start checking the candy using the cold water method (drizzle a little bit of candy into a cup of very cold water, and check the consistency) at about 230 degrees. If you don't have a candy thermometer, you can make it using this method alone. Just look for the candy to be soft and chewy, to hold it's shape, but not runny or too hard.
  • Remove from the heat, add vanilla extract, and beat until creamy with a wooden spoon. Stir in nuts, if you decided to add them.
  • Pour into a buttered 9x13 glass baking dish. Let sit until the caramel has cooled enough to be handled.
  • Flip the caramel out onto the counter or plastic cutting board. I like to use kitchen scissors to cut it into pieces about 1 inch wide by 2 inches long. Roll the candy up into a piece of wax paper that's wide enough to twist shut on both sides.
  • Eat. ☺

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26 Comments

  1. This sounds like recipe for fudge. That’s what we used to have at Christmas. I’ve tried to make it but it never worked out (many times) with fudge you don’t stir. Just let it roll. Wish I could make some, but, I’ll try this probably tastes the same. Oh Boy ! (the store bought
    fudge is soft. I don’t like it.)

  2. Any ideas if I decreased the sugar some if the consistency or texture of the caramels would be affected? Trying to cut back on the sugar. Thanks!

      1. I think it would be worth a try! I’m not sure what it would do to the consistency, but often times there is a little wiggle room with sugar. If you try it, please let me know–I’d love to know how it turns out!

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