Tried and True Caramel Candy

Total Time
20mins
Prep 0 mins
Cook 20 mins

My aunt Cathy has been making caramel candies for us for Christmas for 25 years. I have never tasted caramels as good as hers. They are always soft and creamy with a wonderful flavor. With this recipe you can make your caramel as soft or as hard as you want to. Because confection recipes are always easily affected by altitude, my aunt, who lives at a much lower elevation than me, suggested I use the drop test method instead of a candy thermometer for figuring out how hard or soft my caramel is going to turn out. I went along with her suggestion because, for one I didn't want to Spring for a candy thermometer, and also because the temperature I would need to cook it to would differ for me from what she would cook it to and so she couldn't tell me what that temperature would be. (She says she cooks it to approx. 248 degrees F). So, instead of going through the trouble of trial and error, I have always used the drop test method, and it has worked for me every time. I will explain this method for those who don't know it in the directions.

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a heavy saucepan and cook on medium-high flame.Stir consistently as the ingredients melt and combine.
  2. Let mixture come to a rolling boil and continue stirring consistently.
  3. Mixture will begin to thicken more and more the longer it is allowed to boil. Keep in mind that the caramel will firm up considerably when it is cooled.
  4. Cook to medium ball stage. Do the drop test to see how firm your caramel is.
  5. DROP TEST: Get a small bowl and fill it with ice water. Set it to the side of the stove and when you think your Caramel is firming up, take a spoonful and drop it in the ice water. Wait about thirty seconds so it has time to cool, then take the caramel out of the ice water and squish it between your fingers. If it isn't as firm as you want it, cook the caramel for a bit longer and then do another drop test. Keep doing this until it has reached the stage you want. See how easy and simple that was?.
  6. Remove caramel from heat and let cool for a while in the pan.
  7. When it is somewhat cooled, pour it out onto a greased counter, or onto parchment paper.Let cool to room temperature.
  8. Use a pizza cutter to cut strip off the caramel, then cut the strip into small pieces and wrap in pieces of wax or parchment paper. The softer the caramel, the more likely it is to stick to the wrapping. So if you like it really soft, I would suggest you use parchment paper instead of the wax.
  9. The best thing about this recipe is that it tastes good no matter how hard or soft you cook it. If you want a caramel syrup, then you boil it for a very short while. If you want a caramel toffee, the flavor will still be as wonderful. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have over the years.
Most Helpful

5 5

I am 12 (useing moms acount) and I had a very easy time with this recipe. Instead of 1/2teaspoon of vanilla i put a whole teaspoon because a little extra vanilla never hurt anyone. I got a perfect batch THE FIRST TRY! If I could do it any of you can. It comes out sweet and delicious. Tip: maybe add salt or even chocolate dip. :)

5 5

This is the best-tasting and easiest recipe for soft caramels I've found. Tastes great, easy to do, no complicated instructions. Wonderful!

5 5

This caramel is yummy. I used white sugar, and I did add about a teaspoon of salt to the mix. I cooked the mixture to about 240 degrees before pouring it in an 8x8 aluminum foil lined pan. I think I may try it with brown sugar next time! Thanks for posting!