Adapted from The Kitchn
Makes 40-55 pieces (depending on the size of the cut candies)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 ½ cups white granulated sugar
- ¼ cup light corn syrup
- ¼ cup water
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
Prep and Cook
- 1Prepare an 8” x 8” baking dish by lining it with parchment paper. Ensure there is enough length of paper so that it hangs off the edges by at least an inch or so. Spray the parchment paper and sides of the pan with non-stick spray. Also give a small whisk a swift coating of the spray and set everything aside.
- 2Place the cream, butter and salt in a small saucepan and warm over medium heat until the butter melts. Remove from the heat, keeping the pan close by.
- 3Combine the sugar, corn syrup and water in a larger (4-quart) saucepan. Stir until the sugar is evenly moistened and forms a thick grainy paste. Brush down the sides of the pot with a damp pastry brush, removing any stray sugar crystals. Attach an instant-read thermometer to the side of the pot and place it on the burner. Do not stir the sugar after this point.
- 4Cook the sugar syrup over medium-high heat by letting it come to a boil. Continue cooking it—but don’t stir—until it reaches between 250°F and 320°F degrees on the thermometer. The cooler the temperature the more chewy and taffy-like the caramels will be, the higher the temperature the more firm and dark coloured they will be.
- 5When the sugar has reached the desired temperature, whisk in the cream and butter mixture by removing the pot from the burner and slowly pouring the warm cream into the sugar syrup while whisking it gently. The sugar syrup will bubble up and triple in size. Stop whisking once all the milk and butter mixture has been added.
- 6Place the pot back on the burner, turn the heat to medium, and bring the caramel to a boil without stirring, heating it until it reaches 245°F–250°F. At first the caramel will be a buttery yellow colour but it will eventually dark to a reddish-brown caramel colour. When ready, quickly whisk in the vanilla.
- 7Pour the caramel into the prepared pan. Tap it against the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Let the caramel set for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight. Once cooled to room temperature, cover the pan and set aside.
- 8When the caramels have set, lift them out of the pan by the parchment paper overhang and place them onto a cutting board. Cut the caramel into candy-sized pieces using a sharp knife (you may find it helpful to spray the knife with non-stick cooking spray as well) and wrap the pieces in small squares of wax or parchment paper. Twist ends closed and keep at room temperature for two weeks or in the freezer for up to two months.