Meet the Cook: I haven't missed a year making this candy for the holidays since a friend gave me the recipe in 1964! It is made like a pan of upside-down bars and tastes like my favorite caramel pecan candies. We are natives of the Lone Star State who moved to Ohio when my husband was transferred several years ago. -June Humphrey, Strongsville, Ohio
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 cup butter, softened, divided
- 1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
- 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Line a 13-in. x 9-in. pan with foil; butter the foil with 1 tablespoon butter. Sprinkle with pecans and chocolate chips; set aside.
- In a heavy saucepan, melt remaining butter over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup and water. Cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until a candy thermometer reads 248° (firm-ball stage).
- Remove from heat and add vanilla. Pour into prepared pan (do not scrape saucepan). Cool completely before cutting. Yield: about 2-1/2 pounds (about 6-3/4 dozen).
Originally published as Chocolate Pecan Caramels in Country Woman November/December 1999, p33
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