Homemade Caramels

My mom makes the most delicious homemade caramels. I’d like to share her caramel recipe with you and show just how easy it is to make these sugary, buttery treats. If you’ve never had homemade caramels, you don’t know what you’re missing! These caramels make store bought “caramels” taste, and feel, like vinyl.  It’s like the difference between homemade bread fresh from the oven and Wonder bread.

By the way, none of the ingredients in this recipe are good for you. That, my friends, is what makes these caramels so darn tasty.

1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
4 Cups Brown Sugar
2 Cups White Syrup
2 Cups Butter
1 Tsp. Salt
2 Tsp. Vanilla
1 Cup of Nuts (optional)
You will also need an accurate candy thermometer.

1. Generously butter a sheet of parchment paper and place it in a 9” x 13” pan or glass baking dish. Be sure that the paper goes up the sides of the pan.

2. Melt butter on low heat.

3. Add white syrup and salt. Stir constantly over medium heat.

4. Add brown sugar and stir until it dissolves.

5. Add sweetened condensed milk and continue to stir.

6. Insert candy thermometer into caramel sauce. Be sure to keep the end from touching the bottom of the pan as this will give you a false reading.

7. Stir caramel until thermometer reaches 240 degrees.

8. Add vanilla and stir.

9. Pour caramel into buttered parchment paper lined baking dish.

10. Cool overnight on a wire rack.

11. The next day, lift parchment paper and caramel from pan.

12. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut a row from the caramel. Then, cut the row into bite size pieces. Set the pieces on parchment paper.

13. Cut parchment paper into approximately 4” squares.

14. Wrap each caramel in a parchment square and twist ends.

15. Continue to wrap caramels for the next 1.5 hours. Ha!

16. Share with your friends.

Makes about 14 dozen caramels. That’s a lot!

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10 thoughts on “Homemade Caramels

  1. I’m sorry to keep asking questions, but is the overnight cooling essential if you make them early enough in the day? I mean, does the caramel have to sit out in order to become the proper consistency? Because I tried wrapping a few pieces after only five hours and they were sticking to the parchment squares.. does that mean I didn’t cook it right, or should I just leave the caramel sitting out overnight to finish the process?

    • I cool them overnight just to make sure they have enough time to harden. Although, they never get hard (like the kind you buy in the store)… they just get less gooey and shouldn’t stick to the parchment paper. If it takes longer than overnight for the caramels to harden, you probably didn’t boil the caramel mixture long enough. Yours could be sticky because they need more time to set up OR because they needed another minute or so of boiling time. Either way, the caramels will still taste great, they’ll just be a bit sticky 🙂

  2. Oh ok!! Yeah, I couldn’t help but eat the stuck-on caramel cause it was so tasty!! *laugh* Should I cover it with something if I’m leaving it out all night, though? I don’t want dust getting on it!

  3. How did I miss this post? The caramels look wonderful. I have a hard time resisting any caramel that appears homemade. Danger lies ahead if I make these. A stop sign will be needed to keep me away from them.

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