Tuesday, December 28, 2010


If you've read a few of my posts, you know that I'm easily distracted.  Case in point: these caramels.  My brother wanted me to make him some chocolate chip cookies, but on my way through the "C"s in my recipe index, I came across the instructions for caramels, which I have never made before.  "Oooo!  I'm gonna make caramels!" I said, and I pranced off into the kitchen to find the ingredients.   Not until several hours later, when my brother was hunched over with gut rot from too many caramels, was it mentioned, "Hey, weren't you going to make chocolate chip cookies?"  Oops.  Next time.

My dentist is gonna be pissed.
I only got one picture of this process, partly because I was busy with a candy thermometer, but also because you really don't want to know what goes into caramels.  (Hint: Everything bad for you is on the list.  Except bacon.  But I don't see why you couldn't throw a little of that in there, too.)  What you see in this picture is brown sugar and an ungodly amount of corn syrup.  What you don't see are the two sticks of butter and the can of sweetened condensed milk that I added later.  Lord help us all, they were delicious.

You can make them, too.  I promise all you need is an accurate thermometer and a decent attention span.

Quick Caramels

1 cup butter
2 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla

Line an 8x8 or 9x9 inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of the pan. Butter foil, and set aside.

In a heavy 3 qt saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add brown sugar, condensed milk, and corn syrup, mix well. Cook and stir over medium high heat to boiling. Carefully clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Cook and stir mixture over medium heat to 248F or firm ball stage. (10 to 15 minutes)

Remove the saucepan from the heat; remove thermometer. Stir in vanilla. Immediately pour caramel mixture into the prepared pan. When firm, use the foil to lift it out of the pan. Use a buttered knife to cut into 1 inch squares. Wrap each caramel in waxed paper. Makes about 2 pounds.

Props to my former co-worker, Jane, for this recipe.


  1. I have a friend that actually makes bacon caramels. No surprise, they rock.

  2. Nuh uh! Bacon caramels? *wheels turning*