Caramel is not difficult to make. It has few ingredients and, while cooked on the top of the stove, is fairly quick. I’ve been making the following recipe for Creamy Caramel for years and have never had a failure. It can be cooked to just under the softball stage so it is soft, or longer for firmer caramel that can be cut into squares. I use it soft as a topping for Caramel Shortbread Hearts at Valentines Day and Trees at Christmastime, as well as Caramel Chocolate Shortbread fingers. I also add toasted nuts, pour it in a pan, and cut it into squares. This caramel is also perfect for nut rolls.
Make sure you have a cup of water with a pastry brush nearby to wash down the sides; this eliminates the formation of sugar crystals so the caramel doesn’t go sugary. A good candy thermometer is also essential.
Basic Creamy Caramel
48 1” square candies
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1 cup whipping cream
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
- In heavy saucepan, mix sugar, corn syrup, and 1/2 cup of the whipping cream.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon.
- When the mixture boils, slowly add the remaining whipping cream, stirring constantly, and making sure the mixture doesn't stop boiling.
- Add butter and wash down the sides with a pastry brush dipped in water.
- Continue cooking over medium heat until the mixture reaches the softball stage, stirring occasionally and washing down the sides.
- If using as a topping, cook just under the softball stage so it stays soft enough to be piped or poured.
- Remove from heat. Add vanilla.
- If using as a topping, let cool in pan or pour into a glass container. Do not scrape the pan.
- If making nut caramels, grease an 8" square pan and line it with parchment paper. When the caramel reaches the softball stage (or a little longer if you want firmer caramels, add 1 cup coarsely chopped toasted nuts. Remove from heat, add vanilla, and pour, without scraping pan, into the prepared pan.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 58 Calories from Fat 25
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 43% Protein 1% Carb. 56%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 3 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Cholesterol 9 mg
Sodium 15 mg
Total Carbohydrate 8 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 4 g
Protein 0 g
Vitamin A 2% Vitamin C 0% Calcium 0% Iron 1%