Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Caramels

Holiday candy has begun! I have been wanting to make caramels for a really long time, but never tried. Since we are snowed in today I finally became motivated. I few weeks ago I ordered my candy thermometer in preparation and researched recipes. This recipe looked the best to me, and it got good reviews. The process was not difficult, but it certainly does take a careful eye! Look for more yummy candy recipes coming soon, Enjoy! Ingredients
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup condensed milk
2 cups light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter, cut into small cubes

Instructions
Prepare a 9x9 pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Combine the cream and condensed milk in a small saucepan, and place the saucepan on a burner set to the lowest heat setting. You want the milk and cream to be warm, but do not allow it to boil. In a medium-large saucepan combine the corn syrup, water, and granulated sugar over medium-high heat. Stir the candy until the sugar dissolves, then use a wet pastry brush to wash down the sides of the pan to prevent sugar crystals from forming and making the candy grainy. Insert a candy thermometer and reduce the heat to medium. Allow the mixture to come to a boil and cook until the thermometer reads 250 degrees. Add the softened butter chunks and the warm milk-cream mixture. The temperature should go down about 30 degrees. Continue to cook the caramel, stirring constantly so that the bottom does not scorch. Cook it until the thermometer reads 244, and the caramel is a beautiful dark golden brown. Remove the caramel from the heat and immediately pour it into the prepared pan. Do not scrape candy from the bottom of the saucepan. Allow the candy to sit overnight to set up and develop a smooth, silky texture. When you are ready to cut the caramel, place a piece of waxed paper on the counter and lift the caramel from the pan using the foil as handles. Flip the top of the caramel onto the waxed paper and peel the foil layer from the bottom of the caramel. Spray a large knife with nonstick cooking spray. Firmly cut into the caramels, creating 1” squares. Wipe the blade and re-spray as necessary. Wrap the squares in waxed paper. The caramels will gradually spread and lose their square shape if not wrapped soon after cutting. Alternately, you can dip them in chocolate once they are cut. Store the caramels at room temperature for up to two weeks.

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