Sunday, December 18, 2011

Does it have sugar in it, then YES!

I bought the stuff to make the licorice caramels last year, but I never got around to making them.  So, this year, about a week after Halloween, I decided that I COULD NOT live another day without licorice caramels.  Here is the recipe and the beginning of a bad, bad breakfast habit...

Licorice Caramels (from Red Couch Recipes blog)

1 can of sweetened condensed milk
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
1 cup butter
1 t. salt
1 t. anise oil
1 t. black food coloring

Place sweeteened condensed milk, sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt in heavy-bottomed sauce pan.  Cook and stir on medium until firm ball stage (245-250).  Take off heat and add anise oil and food coloring.  Pour into prepared buttered glass baking dish (9x13).  Let cool and cut or break into pieces and wrap in cellophane wrappers.

(As  side note...every time I hear the word CELLOPHANE, I think of my dad.  Because he is the only person in the world that I ever heard use that word on a daily basis.)

So, then Rick had to take a treat to his Home Teaching families and we thought it would be a great idea to make caramels.  It was a good idea, because I had 4 cans of sweetened condensed milk that were close to their expiration date, as well as some very hard brown sugar.

Here is the recipe for
Home Made Caramel (from the Giver's Log blog)
1 cup butter, unsalted
1 cup light corn syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk (or 2 cups half and half or light cream)
2 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 t. vanilla

Here are her instructions and tips...
Line pan with parchment paper.
Cut butter into smaller pieces, even sized cubes for even melting.  Melt over low in sauce pan.
Carefully add sugar by pouring in into the center of the pan.  If any sugar crystals stick to side of pan, push them down with a damp pastry brush so they do not crystallize the entire batch and make you want to cry.
Add and mix in corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk.
Cook and stir on medium for one minute, then medium high until boiling.  Make sure the butter is fully blended into the caramel mixture.  Reduce heat to medium and keep a steady boil.  Stir frequently.
Temperature does not raise at a steady rate, so watch thermometer closely.
When caramel reaches thread stage (230 to 233) take out any caramel that you would like to use as dip.
When temperature reaches late soft ball stage (234-240) dip a few apples.
When thermometer reaches 244, remove caramel from heat (low firm ball stage).
Stir in vanilla.
Pour into prepared pan.
Allow to cool for several hours.

My own notes:
Use some (brand new) sandpaper and rough up the apple peels to dip caramel apples.  It will help the caramel from slipping off the apple.
Plan on 30 minutes to make the caramel and 3 hours to wrap it.

We made a second batch of the caramels for FHE (which went much better than the previous week FHE).  We dipped some apples and then wrapped the rest.
And then we found some pecans.  
So, made another batch with pecans.
Then a few days later I saw this in the newspaper:

Old Fashioned Caramels  (Daily Herald, last week sometime)
2 c. sugar
1 1/2 corn syrup
1 c. butter
2 cups cream, divided
1/2 c. cocoa
2 t. vanilla
1 c. chopped nuts

Butter pan and set aside.
Boil sugar, corn syrup, butter, 1 cup cream, and 1/2 c. cocoa until mixture comes to a complete rolling boil that can't be stirred down.  Continue boiling, slowly add the second cup of cream while continuing to stir and allowing the mixture to keep boiling.  Stir and cook until the mixture reaches hard ball stage (250).  Remove from heat.  Stir in vanilla and nuts and pour into the prepared pan to cool.

So, I have officially made one recipe of caramels every day now for 8 days in a row.
Rick told me that it HAS TO END.  He has eaten caramel with every meal for a week.  Sometimes it IS his meal.  I am happy to say that I have used up all of the sweetened condensed milk (and then some), all of the hard brown sugar, and all of the corn syrup--which I think is pure evil--from the food storage.
The candy thermometer temperatures were adjusted for the altitude here in Mapleton, UT (4700).
If you are making candy at sea level (like Hawaii) or at the top of Maple Mountain (10,000) then you might need to make some adjustments.  I'm sure there's an app for that.

1 comment:

Amara said...

Your caramel recipe will officially replace my go to recipe. That much better. Also I thought some of my chocolate ones tasted like those cool licorice ones that I have always wanted to make, but it was usually dark when I was sneaking them, and couldn't see a difference looks-wise. Glad I'm not crazy! Printing now....