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Classic Caramels


Classic Caramels

Classic Caramels

Yield

Makes 64 caramels (about 2-1/2 pounds)

Ingredients

2 cups sugar
2 cups light corn syrup
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preparation

  1. Line 8-inch square pan with heavy-duty foil, pressing foil into corners to cover completely and leaving 1-inch overhang on sides. Lightly butter foil.
  2. Combine sugar, syrup, half-and-half, butter and salt in deep heavy 4- or 4-1/2-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Attach candy thermometer to side of pan, making sure bulb is submerged in sugar mixture but not touching bottom of pan. Continue boiling about 25 minutes or until sugar mixture reaches firm-ball stage (244° to 246°F) on candy thermometer, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and very gradually stir in cream.
  3. Return to medium heat and cook about 15 minutes or until mixture reaches 248°F on candy thermometer, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Immediately pour into prepared pan. (Do not scrape saucepan.) Cool at room temperature 3 to 4 hours until firm or cover with plastic wrap and let stand overnight. (Candy will be harder to cut if cooled overnight.)
  4. Remove from pan by lifting caramels using foil handles. Place on cutting board; peel off foil. Cut into 1-inch strips; cut each strip into 1-inch squares with buttered knife or kitchen shears.
  5. Wrap caramels individually in small squares of plastic wrap. Store in airtight container at room temperature up to 2 weeks.

Chocolate Caramels

Add 1 bar (4 ounces) chopped sweet dark chocolate to sugar mixture after it comes to a boil. Proceed as directed.

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