One of my first experiences with cooking was helping my mother make these caramels. We'd make up to 12 batches each year. Today, I do at least 95 percent of the cooking at home, but my wife does much of the baking. —Robert Sprenkle, Hurst, Texas
Velvety smooth homemade caramels have a sprinkling of kosher salt to create a sweet-salty sensation. Best of these caramels don't call for each to be wrapped in waxed paper or plastic wrap...a very tedious chore. The hot caramel is poured into miniature muffin liners instead.—Kathryn Conrad, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Each Christmas I teach myself a new candy recipe. Last year I started with my caramel recipe and added a splash of orange extract for fun. This year I just might try buttered rum extract. —Shelly Bevington-Fisher, Hermiston, Oregon
These candies are fast and easy, but they look and taste like you did a lot of work. Make as many-or as few -as you want. They're great alongside other desserts for guests who want only a bite of something sweet.
Homemade caramel, smooth almond bark and chopped nuts make these pretzel rods sinfully delicious. This treat is always a huge hit at holiday parties. People think you spent all day in the kitchen! —Mary Bown, Evanston, Wyoming
I discovered this recipe in a local newspaper several years ago and have made these soft buttery caramels ever since. Everyone asks for the recipe once they have a taste. I make them for Christmas, picnics and charity auctions. They are so much better than store-bought caramels.
-Marcie Wolfe, Williamsburg, Virginia
This dazzling treat tastes like a Snickers bar but has homemade flavor beyond compare. When I entered it in a recipe contest at our harvest festival, it won five ribbons, including grand prize and the judges' special award.
-Jane Meek, Pahrump, Nevada
I created this candy by combining my husband's favorite cookie recipe and my mom's caramel dip. These sweets really appeal to kids...plus, they can help make them!—Tamara Holschen, Anchor Point, Alaska