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One of my favorite things about Christmas is creamy homemade caramels! My grandmother would make them and now my mom makes them. There is just nothing better than the homemade version. It is something I look forward to each year.
Something about that soft, sweet, chewy, sugary, butter confectionary that just calls to me. I can’t resist them. I have been know to consume more than my fair share at one time.
My mom and grandma have used waxed paper cut by hand, into squares, to wrap these tasty morsels in. I usually like to use waxed paper or parchment like I did in the picture. However, after I made these for this post, a friend at work gave me a bag of her homemade caramels as a Christmas gift.
We got to talking about how she wraps her caramels and I discovered they have precut square wrappers to can buy to wrap your caramels in. Why have I not thought about this or known about this before now! She purchases cellophane wrappers from a local store called Orson Gygi’s. She finds them right next to the big blogs of Peters Caramel.
After my chat with her, I discovered after a quick search on amazon you can get them there too. You can get a waxed paper, parchment paper, or cellophane version. Now in my picture, I used parchment paper, but I do prefer to look of the cellophane because it shows of the caramels more. My second favorite way is the look you get with the waxed paper. You can see the caramel through the haze of the waxed paper. Next year, I am getting some of these precut squares for sure!
Creamy Homemade Caramels
- Line an 8 inch square pan with foil. Spread softened butter over foil and set aside.
- In a 3 qt saucepan, add sugar, corn syrup, and butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until boiling. Then allow to boil for 4 minutes WITHOUT stirring.
- Reduce heat to medium low and mix in the sweetened condensed milk. The reducing the heat is key, if you don’t the sugar in the sweetened condensed milk will burn. You will need to stir this from now on. Using a candy thermometer, cook until it reaches soft ball stage (see note to figure out proper temperature to reach soft all stage where you live. For where I live in the Salt Lake Valley it’s 230 degrees). If it does burn by accident, no fear. It will still taste good, you just end up with dark flecks in your caramel.
- Remove from heat and mix in the vanilla. Pour mixture into the prepared pan. Allow to cool. Then refrigerate for about 1 hour before cutting. This make them easier to cut.
- Using foil, remove from pan. Remove foil from caramel and cut into pieces. Wrap with squares of waxed paper, parchment paper, or cellophane squares and twist ends. Makes 64 square or 32 rectangle caramels.
To figure our the temperature for soft ball stage where you live, test the thermometer by putting it in a pot of water. Bring it to a boil. If it boils at 212 degrees then you would bring it to 238 degrees for soft ball. Add just the temperature up or down by what temperature the water boils at.
Recipe adapted Taste of Home.