Preparing these caramels never fails to put me in the holiday spirit. Later, when I'm passing them around, that cheerful feeling becomes contagious. —Mae Ondracek, Pahrump, Nevada
- 1 teaspoon plus 1/4 cup butter, divided
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped almonds, toasted
- Line an 8-in. square dish with foil; butter the foil with 1 teaspoon butter. Set aside.
- In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt and remaining butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low; boil gently without stirring for 4 minutes.
- Remove from the heat; slowly stir in cream. Return to the heat; cook, without stirring, over medium-low heat until a candy thermometer reads 245° (firm-ball stage). Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla and almonds.
- Pour into prepared pan (do not scrape sides of saucepan). Cool completely. Using foil, lift caramel out of pan. Discard foil; cut caramel into squares. Wrap individually in waxed paper or foil; twist ends. Yield: about 4 dozen.
Originally published as Toasted Almond Caramels in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2001, p117
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