Before I was married, my future father-in-law would fix these creamy caramels at Christmas and send me some. The recipe has been in my husband's family for decades...so, when we got married, I learned to make them, too.
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 cup butter, divided
- 2 cups sugar
- 1-3/4 cups light corn syrup
- 2 cups half-and-half cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped pecans, optional
- Line an 11-in. x 7-in. pan with foil; grease with 1 tablespoon butter and set aside. In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and remaining butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly; boil gently for 4 minutes without stirring.
- Remove from the heat; stir in cream. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until a candy thermometer reads 238° (soft-ball stage), stirring constantly.
- Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla and pecans if desired. Pour into prepared pan; cool. Using foil, lift candy out of pan. Gently peel off foil; cut candy into 1-in. squares. Yield: 2 pounds.
Originally published as Old-Fashioned Caramels in Country Woman Christmas Annual 1997, p39
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