Vanilla caramels are my yearly go-to homemade gift. I frequently double this recipe and make enough caramels that I gave gift them generously to all my friends, neighbors and family.
This recipe is very easy to do but I must recommend two pieces of special equipment to make things go especially smoothly. Invest in a candy thermometer and a 9 by 13 inch silicone pan. The thermometer will make sure that you candy gets to the correct temperature- we want a soft caramel, smooth and melting, not hard and chewy or stiff and brittle. The silicone pan will make certain than you can get your candy out of your pan (plus you can use the pan for marshmallows as well!).
Try these out for an impressive yet simple to make holiday gift this year; your friends and family with love you for it!
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 pounds milk or dark chocolate melts, melted
Flaked salt, if desired
Butter a 9 y 13 inch silicon pan. Set aside.
Combine all ingredients except for the vanilla in a heavy-bottomed 4 quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter mets and the mixture comes to a boil- about 15 to 20 minutes.
Let the mixture continue to boil until it reads 244 degrees F with a candy thermometer.
Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla; the mixture will bubble violently. Pour the caramel into the silicone pan and cool completely.