Every year when I make holiday treats for neighbors, family, friends and coworkers, I try and make them something out of the ordinary; something special. This ranges anywhere from fudge to oreo truffles to chocolate biscotti.
A few years ago I took cookies to a friend's house and she bamboozled me into taking home a bag of her freshly made caramels.
Let me tell you people, those caramels were good. I ate three before I got home. And I live about five blocks from her house. And I drove. That's how good they were.
They have an almost taffy-like consistency and are just the right blend of buttery and sweet.
I've been making them every year since then. :)
You start by melting butter, sugar and dark corn syrup in a large pan over medium-high heat.
Before you have a panic attack, corn syrup is not the same thing as the evil high fructose corn syrup we all hear so much about.
Then you slowly pour in two cans of evaporated milk.
The trick here is to pour it slow enough that you don't stop the caramel from boiling.
Then just keep stirring for about 45 minutes (or as long as the most recent episode of How I Met Your Mother was with commercials on Hulu).
Pour the caramel into a large buttered pan (two 9x13" pans should work fine). Sprinkle with fleur de sel. If you're into the whole salted caramel thing. If not, don't sprinkle it with salt.
After the caramel has cooled, you can cut it into little logs and wrap them in wax paper.
You can also dip them in chocolate if you want to be especially nice to whomever is the recipient of these little lovelies.
1/2 lb. unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups dark Karo syrup
4 cups sugar
2 (15 oz) cans evaporated milk
1 tbsp. vanilla
1 tsp. fleur de sel (optional)
Butter a large jelly roll pan or 2 9x13" pans. Set aside.
In a large pan over medium-high heat, bring butter, syrup and sugar to a hard boil. Slowly pour evaporated milk in - take time to do this so it doesn't stop the boiling process. Stir constantly for 40 minutes (great time to catch up on some tv shows).
The caramel is done when you drop a spoonful of it into a glass of ice water, let it sit for a moment and then pull it out and try to form it into a ball. If it holds a shape resembling a ball, it's done! If not, keep stirring for a bit longer and then test out a little bit of it again using the same method.
Once the caramel is done, pour it into the prepared pan(s). Sprinkle with fleur de sel, if desired. Allow to cool completely (about two hours).
Cut caramels into small logs and wrap each piece in wax paper. Can store in the fridge or in the cupboard. Enjoy!