Recipe by bmxmama
This recipe was adopted by me in September 2006 in a whirlwind zaar adoption. I haven't made this recipe yet, but as soon as I do I will update the recipe description!
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, more for the pan
- 2⁄3 cup coarsely chopped pecan pieces
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1⁄2 cup light Karo syrup
- 1⁄4 cup half-and-half
- 1⁄4 cup whipping cream
- 3⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions See How It's Made
- Butter an 8x8-inch baking pan.
- Line the pan with a piece of parchment large enough to hang over two sides.
- Butter the paper, too, and tuck it flat against the pan.
- Put the chopped pecan pieces in a handy spot where you'll be working.
- Combine the sugar, salt, Karo syrup, half-and-half, cream, and butter in a heavy-based 3-qt pan (do not use a smaller pan), stirring with a wooden spoon over low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- This can take a while, and it's hard to see; you should feel the texture (rub a little between your fingers or run your finger along the mixture clinging to the spoon) to be sure all the sugar is dissolved.
- Turn the heat to medium and cook, stirring, until the mixture foams to a boil.
- Add the baking soda.
- Lower the heat and stir like mad.
- The mixture will double in volume and then gradually subside and begin to take on a golden hue.
- After the mixture settles a bit, put in a warmed candy thermometer.
- Continue to stir constantly, scraping the sides, and cook over medium-low heat until the thermometer registers just 240°F.
- Watch very carefully, as the thermometer will hover at 239° for a while and then move up.
- You must remove the mixture before it passes 240°F.
- Remove the pot from the heat and take out the thermometer.
- Continue to stir quickly.
- The candy will look like a loose caramel sauce.
- Add the vanilla (watch out, it may sputter) and stir carefully to incorporate.
- Add the pecans and continue stirring quickly.
- Don't take your eyes off the mixture at this point.
- Watch and feel it as it begins to thicken, lighten in color, and become harder to stir.
- When it has thickened enough to leave a path on the bottom of the pan while you're stirring, it's just about ready.
- The moment you notice that the mixture is just beginning to lose its glossy shine, turn it out into the buttered pan.
- Don't wait until the mixture looks completely matte or it will be too dry when you try to cut it.
- If you stop stirring at the right moment, the mixture will firm up almost the second it hits the pan.
- Too soon, it will never be anything more than caramel (although very good caramel); too long, it will harden in the pot.