Caramels (Plain, Nutty, and/or Salted)

It always surprises me how easy it is to make candy. These caramels are not only delicious, but quick and easy. I’ve seen other recipes that get particular, but this one from my mother-in-law isn’t fussy at all. Best of all, you get a big pan that you can share with your neighbors.

Prepare a 9×13 pan by spraying it with oil or buttering it.

Combine in a saucepan:

1 lb. brown sugar

1 c. corn syrup

1/2 lb. butter (2 sticks)

1 can of sweetened, condensed milk

1/2 t. cream of tartar

Stir to dissolve the sugars, then bring the mixture to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes, stirring constantly. At this point, the mixture should be getting thicker and golden in color. I tested it in cold water, and it had reached firm ball stage. I live at almost 6,000 feet, so candy stages might be slightly different where you live. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, don’t worry. I find the cold water test to be very effective. You may need to cook yours a little longer than 15 minutes if you’re at a lower altitude.

Remove the candy from the heat and stir in until combined:

1 T. vanilla

1 c. nuts, optional, but recommended. I used pecans.

Pour the mixture into the prepared 9×13 pan.

For salted caramels, let the candy cool for about 20 minutes before sprinkling coarse salt over the top.

When the caramels are completely cool, cut them into pieces and wrap them in waxed paper.

Find more candy recipes here!

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