Here at the holidays, making candy is a popular activity! It’s great fun to make candy at Christmas, especially for gift giving. Caramel is a very popular flavor with many of us, yet it’s one candy that few people actually make. I’m passing along a great recipe for “Easy Caramels”, which is a good recipe to do if you’d like to try your hand at caramels. Then, I have a second recipe for “Caramel Candy Bars”. Many of the commercially sold candies contain caramel and this is one that you can make at home. For Christmas giving, either of these treats will be very welcome for the candy lovers!
For the “Easy Caramels”, you melt butter in a large pan. For this recipe, I strongly suggest real butter for the best flavor. Then, you add brown sugar and a bit of salt. Then, you add light corn syrup and some sweetened condensed milk. This is cooked over medium heat until it reaches the “firm ball” stage, about 245 degrees on the candy thermometer. This will take about 12-15 minutes. This is now removed from heat and some vanilla extract is stirred in. This is turned into a greased pan and cools. Then, this is cut into small pieces. If you wanted to, you could wrap each piece in plastic wrap for gift giving.
For the “Caramel Candy Bars”, you make a crust of flour, quick-cooking oats, baking soda and salt. You now stir in brown sugar. Then, butter is cut into the mixture until it’s crumbly, Some of this mixture is set aside for the topping and the remainder goes into a 9×13 inch pan and this is baked. For the caramel portion, you melt caramel candies with some evaporated milk. This is spread over the crust. Over this, you sprinkle chopped walnuts, which is an optional ingredient, followed by chocolate chips, then the reserved crumb mixture. This goes back into the oven and bakes for 25 minutes. Once these cool to warm, you can now cut them into bars and now you have homemade candy bars!
Another recipe that has caramel in it is a luscious cake I shared sometime ago for “Turtle Cake”. This is a rich and luscious mixture of chocolate cake with a layer of caramel and chopped nuts. To get this recipe, click on the embedded link.
Know a caramel candy fan? These recipes will be most welcome for any fan of this chewy, creamy confection!
- 1 cup butter (no substitutes)
- 1 lb. light brown sugar
- dash of salt
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk, such as Eagle Brand
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a heavy 3 quart saucepan, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar and salt. Blend in the corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until candy makes a firm ball, about 245 degrees on the candy thermometer. This will take 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour into a greased 9-inch square pan. Cool. Cut into small squares. If desired, wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Yield: 2-1/2 lbs.candy.
CARAMEL CANDY BARS
- 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup butter or margarine
Mix the flour, oatmeal, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the brown sugar. Add the butter and cut in with a pastry blender or two knives to form a crumbly mixture. Measure out 3/4 cup of this mixture and press the rest in a greased 9×13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
- 1 (14 oz.) bag caramels, about 50 candies
- 5 tablespoons evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
Melt the caramels with the milk over low in a small saucepan. Spread over baked crust (spreading will be easier if caramel mixture is hot and crust has been allowed to cool slightly.) Sprinkle with nuts, if using them, followed by the chocolate chips and the reserved oatmeal crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until light brown. Cool and cut into bars. Yield: 32 bars.