Thursday, March 24, 2011

Delicious Chewy Caramel

Caramel- such a heavenly invention! First of all, let's talk about the elephant in the room. Do I pronounce it "ka-ra-mel" and "car-mul?" I actually use both so you can't judge me for one or the other- my opinion is, I'm sure there is a correct one, but whatever floats your boat is fine with me!

I got this recipe from a girlfriend of mine and made some caramel apples during Christmas. With holiday hallabaloo and school madness I just never got around to posting.

This recipe is easy and extremely versatile. It can be used for individually wrapped caramels, dipped pretzel sticks, dipped marshmallows, and caramel apples. Unfortunately, I only have pictures of the individually wrapped caramels. I will update the post when I do caramel apples again (They are definitely a repeat- Casey's family devoured them!).

2 c. sugar
1 c. butter (2 sticks)
2 c. cream
1 3/4 dark corn syrup (some people use light corn syrup but the dark has better color and flavor in my opinion)

1) In a large pot add butter, corn syrup, sugar and 1 cup cream.
2) Stir constantly on high heat until the mixture comes to a rolling boil.

3) Slowly incorporate the remaining cup of cream while retaining the rolling boil.
4) Reduce heat until the mixture comes to a simmer.
5) Let simmer for 30-40 minutes, scraping the bottom every 15 minutes.
6) Once it starts to thicken you can begin to test the caramel using the *cold water test (I have instructions on this below if you've never done this before).

Once the caramel has reached the softball stage it is ready! It is really important to not let it cook past the softball stage- otherwise it will be too hard to eat! Take the caramel immediately off the heat and either poor into a greased pan or begin your dipping!

These are the individual caramels that I wrapped for my Christmas plates.

This picture turned out a little fuzzy, but I wanted to show how chewy the caramel is!

This caramel recipe gets 5 stars from me!

*Cold Water Test

Fill a cup with cold water and pour a small amount of caramel into the cup. Dump out the water and catch the caramel in your hand.

If you can form a ball with the caramel and it holds its shape the caramel has reached the softball stage.

If the caramel forms a firm ball that holds its shape even when pinched slightly, it has reached the hardball stage which is more desirable for brittle.


  1. So, I'm currently trying your recipe and the simmering mixture is not getting thick at all. It's been simmering for almost 1 hour and nothing! Any ideas?

  2. might want to turn up the heat a bit? I'm at high elevation so I know things tend to evaporate a little faster. Turning up the simmer to a little boil shouldn't affect your outcome, just make sure you watch it very closely and keep an eye on your thermometer.

    Let me know how it turns out!

  3. I'm wanting to dip pretzels. Do you think the caramel will hold on the pretzel? Also, what temperature should be on the thermometer?

  4. Definitely. I use this for dipping pretzels, apples, anything. The caramel should be at the soft ball stage which is between 235-245 usually. I generally like it to be pretty soft so I take it off the heat towards the lower end of the temperatures, but I always check it using the cold water test to be sure.