As a child I remember my mom working in the kitchen making many different types of Christmas candies. All of us children were instructed to stay away from the stove while she was busy stirring. She didn't want us to get burned by the hot sugars she was transforming into wonderful Christmas gems.
It is awesome carrying on some of her Christmas Candy making. It makes me smile telling my own children the same warning while I am working at the stove. I have the strick rule - when I am getting ready to pour EVERYONE has to be out of the kitchen. I would hate to have an accident happen and some get burned severely. They totally understand. But have a difficult time waiting for the end product to cool so they can get one sample or more.
Okay, now everyone gets to learn about my many trials at successfully making Caramels. I grew up in Iowa but relocated to the Western side of Nebraska many years ago. I started one Christmas, before I was blessed with children trying to make my mom's Caramels. I followed the directions precisely. They would never come out correctly. They would be rock hard and inedible. I tried two or three years in a row with no success.
I finally decided maybe since I was close to the Mountains in Colorado I needed to drop the temp down to what a person should do at a high altitude - even though I all of my other recipes worked without adjusting for a high altitude.
I was so excited to find out that was the problem. And waaalaaaa my Caramels were a success and have continued to be successful.
This year the Caramel making process has been a little challenging since having major knee surgery. But it has not slowed by Christmas baking and candy making down one bit. As you can see by the photo below - I have just had to come up with creative ways to overcome. And I have :)
Here the recipe I use thanks to the Pillsbury Complete Cookbook
1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk (Not evaporated)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Line 9-inch square pan with foil, so the foil extends over sides of pan, lightly butter foil.
|I love the beauty of creating sweet candies.|
|Love my Ove Glove can't imagine Christmas Candy Making without it!|
If anyone noticed in the photos my triple batch of caramel was very close to the top of the pot. What I like to do is when the caramel has reached 234 degrees - I carefully scoop out 2 cups of it - which leaves enough room to let the rest of the batch get to the proper temperature.
I add 1 teaspoon of vanilla into the caramel that was removed. I then use the 2 cups of caramel sauce to dip apples into. It is the perfect consistency and tastes so good.
So is anyone available to help me wrap my triple batch of caramels? I am still wrapping them - and it has been three days. But it is so worth it.
Next I will be making Peanut Brittle and there is a wonderful family story and recipe to go along with it. Also stay turned and pass it around I will be hosting my first giveaway in a week or two thanks to King Arthur http://www.kingarthurflour.com/ . It is an Awesome Giveaway. Don't miss out!