FAMILY AND FRIENDS are sure to be sweet on the goody-filled gifts here. They're twice the treat, since you can eat the presents and the packaging! CT's cooks made the sacks edible by brushing delectable white candy coating onto paper bags, then removing them after the coating set. Inside, they put soft caramels from Tina's recipe. The project is that easy...so go ahead and prepare you own. Folks won't be able to "contain" themselves!
- 1 teaspoon plus 1 cup butter, divided
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 12 ounces white candy coating, divided
- 2 small paper bags, (6-1/2 X 1-3/4 inches):
- Candy foils or buttered waxed paper for wrapping caramels
- Caramels: Line a 9-in. square pan with aluminum foil. Butter the foil with 1 teaspoon butter.
- In a heavy saucepan, combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, milk and remaining butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook until a candy thermometer reads 248° (firm ball stage), stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Stir in vanilla.
- Pour the caramel into the prepared pan and let cool. Cut into 1-in. squares. Wrap the caramels individually in candy foils or buttered waxed paper, twisting the ends.
- Bags: Cut 1-in. off the top of the open end of each paper bag. Set the bags aside.
- Break candy coating into chunks. Place 4 oz. in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat at 70% power for 45 seconds, then stir. Microwave in 10- to 20-second intervals or until melted. Stir until smooth.
- Pour melted coating into one paper bag. Turn the bag to completely coat the inside bottom and sides. Use a pastry brush to evenly spread the coating over inside of bag. Prop the bag open with toothpicks.
- Melt 4 oz. of additional candy coating as directed. Repeat the coating process with the second bag. Refrigerate the bags for 5-7 minutes or until the coating is set. Remove the toothpicks.
- Melt the remaining coating and brush it evenly over the coating on the bags. Refrigerate the bags 5-7 minutes longer or until set.
- Peel off and discard the paper bags. Fill the candy bags with caramels. Yield: Two bags, 6-1/2 dozen caramels.
Originally published as Christmas Candy Bags in Country Woman November/December 2001, p30
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