14 Fun Days of February Day 1: Caramels

Happy February Everybody!

I came upon this recipe through a cousin of Joe’s.  Debbie is a mom like me, with a full-time job(now 2 jobs!) and a little boy named Thomas.  He is adorable and is growing up so fast!  Debbie posted on Facebook that she was making herself sick by eating so many home-made caramels and I had to find out just what she was talking about!  She sent me the recipe and I had to try it. 

Having never made candy of any kind before, this was a little trial and error for me.  I highly recommend doing this when the kids are not around, due to the fact that the sugar gets VERY hot(240 degrees F) and I would be afraid they might run into the kitchen or be interested.  I am totally clumsy, so Iworry about these things!  Also have a digital thermometer, or candy thermometer on hand to watch the temperature.  It is very temperature sensative, so you need to be on top of it.  I also found I needed a bigger pan than I thought I would, since when the sugar mixture comes to a boil it really rises in the pan.  Go bigger to stay safe from boil over.  Hot sugar is nothing to mess around with!

This recipe contains easy, on-hand ingredients.  Butter, sugar, Karo syrup and milk are a easy shopping list!  I had all the ingredients in my pantry.  

I just put them all in a saucepan on the stove(if you pay attention, you will see I had to switch pans halfway through!).  Let it all come together, melting the sugar and butter.  Then the stirring starts!


And stir.

And stir some more!

Then all of a sudden, the temperature starts climbing, and the sugar starts to turn a beautiful bubbly brown, caramel color.  And there it is, caramel. 

WARNING!!!!  DO NOT BE TEMPTED BY THE AROMA TO TASTE THE HOT CARAMEL!  Liquid sugar gets extremely hot, and you can not get it off your skin, tongue, or any other part you are thinking of putting it on.  Trust me, it will taste good, AFTER it cools!

I used a disposable aluminum 8×8-inch square pan sprayed with pan spray.  Make sure you grease the pan, so the caramel comes out easier.  Also, do not set the pan on a cutting board or other heat-sensative surface when pouring in the caramel.  It may melt the cutting board due to the extreme heat.

One more tip!  If you let the caramel boil to long, it may be extremely firm when it sets up.  Just put it back into a saucepan or stockpot, add 1/4 cup milk or half and half and let melt together, stirring to make smooth.  Them return to greased pan, and let set up again.  It should be softer this time! (Yes I am speaking from experience!)

Once done, cut into squares and wrap in waxed paper or other decorative wrap.  Give to your sweetie!


1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 cups whole milk
1 cup karo syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt butter, add sugar, milk and karo syrup in a large saucepan or stock pot.  Bring to a boil over med-high heat stirring almost constantly.  Reduce heat to medium, stirring almost constantly and heat to 245 degrees F(firm ball stage for candy).  Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and pour into a 9×9 foil lined greased pan.  Allow to set and cut into 1″ squares. You could get as many as 50 out of this pan of caramel.  Just cut them a little smaller than you think they should be, since they are VERY rich!


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