Merry Christmas! It’s finally starting to feel and look like Christmas. We had a snowstorm Wednesday night, but after a snowless winter last year and two very dry summers, the moisture and beauty are very appreciated. Now it feels like December 21!
When I was young my mom would make food-type gifts for us to give to our teachers. In an earlier post I shared the cinnamon bread she would bake. The other thing she would make is caramels. Delicious, soft caramels. As excited as I was to have her make them I knew it meant I’d have to help wrap each little candy square in wax paper. Wrapping seemed to take hours. The only good thing was the method I used–wrap one, eat one, wrap one, eat one.
In 1998 I bought the annual recipe book from Taste of Home Magazine. On page 137 was the recipe for Soft ‘n’ Chewy Caramels. Since then I’ve made batches of them each Christmas. The recipe is simple and only requires a few ingredients. They may not be very nutritious, but they certainly make people smile!
2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
2 cups half-and-half cream, divided
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Line a 13-in x 9-in x 2-in pan with foil; butter the foil. Set aside. Combine sugar, corn syrup and 1 cup cream in a 5-qt saucepan or Dutch oven; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Slowly stir in remaining cream. Cook over medium heat until a thermometer reads 250 degrees (hard-ball stage), stirring frequently. Remove from the heat; stir in butter and vanilla until well mixed, about 5 minutes.
Pour into prepared pan. Cool. Remove foil from pan; cut candy into 1-in squares. Wrap individually in waxed paper; twist ends. YEILD: 9-10 dozen (2 lbs).
It seems to take forever once it starts boiling to reach 250, but keep waiting and stirring. That part takes a while, but other than the wrapping they are so simple to make. When you do start wrapping, remember my method–wrap one, eat one, wrap one, eat one. ENJOY!
Have a wonderful Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Savior!