- 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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