This dark caramel may look like coal, but it tastes like pure heaven! One bite and you’ll beg Santa to stuff your stocking with this sinful delight.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Greendale, Wisconsin
- 1 teaspoon plus 1 cup butter, divided
- 2 cups sugar
- 1-1/2 cups corn syrup
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon black food coloring, optional
- 1 package (12 ounces) dark chocolate chips
- 2 teaspoons shortening
- Line an 8-in. square dish with heavy-duty foil; butter foil with 1 teaspoon butter; set aside. In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, milk, salt and remaining butter; bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir until a candy thermometer reads 244° (firm-ball stage).
- Remove from the heat; stir in the walnuts, vanilla and food coloring if desired. Pour into prepared pan (do not scrape saucepan). Cool completely before cutting. Lift foil and candy out of pan; remove foil. Cut into 1-in. squares.
- In a microwave, melt chocolate and shortening; stir until smooth. Dip caramels in chocolate; allow excess to drip off. Place on waxed paper; let stand until set. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Yield: about 5 dozen.
Originally published as Lump of Coal Candy in Taste of Home Christmas Annual Annual 2010, p88
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