Easy Milk Caramels are incredibly easy to make. The recipe takes more patience than skill – and they are always delicious. (Just don’t make them when it is raining or you will have to eat them with a spoon.) 🙂
This recipe is one that we used to make when I was a child during those long winter evenings (before TV). Every time I make the caramels it brings back wonderful, “sweet” memories. If you like store-bought caramels, you will love these creamy, melt-in-your-mouth homemade caramels.
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 3 cups whole milk (do not use low-fat)
- ¼ cup butter (do not use margarine)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Candy thermometer is recommended.
- Cook as directed below in a heavy non-stick two-quart sauce pan
- Heat sugar, corn syrup and one cup milk over low heat, stirring until dissolved.
- Continue to cook, stirring frequently until mixture reaches 248°F, or to the firm-ball stage.
- Slowly add the second cup of milk, and repeat the cooking process.
- Add the final cup of milk, the butter, and salt – cook to 246°F – 248°F, or until a ball tested in cold water is of the firmness desired in the final caramel.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
- Pour at once into a well-buttered 8″ x 8″ pan.
- Chopped nuts (pecans recommended) or coconut can be added with the vanilla if desired. Or, top each caramel square with a pecan half.
- The caramels can be wrapped individually in waxed paper as shown in the picture, or dipped in chocolate for an extra yummy treat.
- Store in an airtight container.
- These candies make an exceptionally nice gift for birthdays or for the holidays.
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Safety first should always be your motto when making candy. Since the base of most candy is made with boiling sugar, safety precautions are an absolute necessity when making candy. Melted sugar is extremely hot – 300° F, or more. Painful, severe burns can result if the mixture is mishandled.
The following 10 safety tips can be very useful:
- No small children or pets allowed in the cooking area
Stay alert – avoid distractions, they cause accidents. Avoid trying to multi-task when o making candy.
- Place a clean, moist cloth nearby so you can wipe away spills quickly so that you do not accidentally touch hot spilled drops.
- Keep a cup of ice water nearby to reduce the potential damage in case boiling sugar does burn you.
Always use the back burners for cooking candy. This increase the distance between you and the hot boiling candy.
Never taste candy until it has cooled for a sufficient amount of time. No matter how much you blow on it, the core will still be hot.
Use the right mixing tools. Thick wooden spoons with long handles are recommended because they do not conduct hear. (Never use metal spoons)
Use a long-handled wooden mixing spoon and a heavy oven mitt when adding ingredients to boiling sugar. The surface will release a burst of steam – enough to burn your hands. Also, stand back as far as possible to protect your face from the steam.
- Use a pair of thick oven mitts for transferring the candy from one place to another.
Always keep the cooking pot as far away from your face and chest as possible. The steam is as hot as the candy and can do even more damage when it comes in contact with your skin. This is very important when you are transferring the pot from one place to another; and when you are pouring the mixture into another container – and as noted before, when adding ingredients to the mixture.
Candy making can be a delightful and memory-making experience for you and your children, but it should always be done with great care! These safety tips taken from my book, Candy Making Made Easy, will not only guard your children from potential dangers, but you as well.
There are some great candy recipes that can be made with younger children that do not involve boiling sugar such as Milk Chocolate Clusters and Homemade Chocolate Truffles, two recipes that can be found in my cookbook, Candy Making Made Easy.