These homemade caramels are soft, chewy, sweet, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious! They're a classic simple candy that can easily be made at home and perfect for gift giving any time of year.
Prep Time: 5mins
Cook Time: 20mins
Cool down: 4hrs
Total Time: 4hrs25mins
½cupunsalted butter, plus butter for the pan/parchment paper
1cuplight corn syrup
12ouncecan evaporated milk
Line an 8x8-inch pan with parchment paper, with a slight overhang (for easy removal later.) Butter the parchment paper well. (If you don't have parchment paper you can generously butter the pan.)
Add the butter, sugar, corn syrup, and salt to a medium heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat. Stir over medium heat until mixture begins to boil, about 5-10 minutes.
Very gradually drizzle in the evaporated milk, taking about 12-15 minutes to slowly add it, while stirring constantly. (Remain over medium heat, maintaining a constant boil. It takes patience and time - don't rush this step.)
Stir the mixture constantly, scraping the sides occasionally until it reaches a "soft ball" stage (238 degrees F on a candy thermometer). For certainty, drop a spoonful of hot caramel sauce into a cup of ice water and mold it with your fingers into a ball. When ready it will feel pretty firm and pliable, but still slightly sticky.
Once you reach 238 degrees F / or the soft ball stage, remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. (Be careful, it will bubble up.)
Pour mixture into prepared pan. Cool completely, usually about 4 hours. (You can also cool and chill in the fridge overnight, then set out on counter to warm slightly at room temperature, so they're chilled but not cold. This makes them easier to cut.)
Remove the caramels from the pan by lifting out the parchment paper.
Using a sharp knife or dough/bench scraper, cut caramel into 10 rows and then individually cut each row into 8 pieces, so you end up with 80 equal sized pieces.
Place a caramel in the middle of wax paper, roll up, and then twist the ends to seal, like a tootsie roll. Then eat a bunch of them or give as gifts!
The full article is filled with helpful tips, cutting, wrapping, storage information, and video for more visual instruction.
Nutritional information given is an automatic calculation and can vary based on the exact products you use and any changes you make to the recipe. If these numbers are very important to you, I would recommend calculating them yourself.