Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan. or- I use Parchment paper VERY lightly greased -- and even then, i wipe it off with a napkin so it is just barly covered.
In a LARGE pot (because it tripples in size ladies) combine sugar, corn syrup, evaporated milk, whipping cream, and butter. Monitor the heat of the mixture with a candy thermometer while stirring.
When the thermometer reaches ABOUT 242-250 degrees. ***If you want the kind of caramel that is really soft and stringy when you bite into it, cook closer to 242. If you want chewier caramel yet they are still beautifully soft, cook closer to 250*** This usually takes around 40-50 minutes, and cook on a medium heat -- It will not burn this way- it my be necessary to turn it up at about 220 -- It seems to sit at that temp if you dont increase the heat. But you must stand and stir constantly at that point so it doesnt burn.
Remove from heat.
Stir in vanilla. Transfer mixture to the prepared pan and let the mixture cool completely. When cooled cut the Carmel into small squares USING A PLASTIC KNIFE and wrap them in wax paper for storage. The plastic knife is a God-send -- Slides right through.