Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mary's Caramels..

I have been making more than digital headers these days..  are you as happy as I am that I FINALLY got my header updated? ;)
There is a woman who lives in the neighborhood where I grew up who made some of the yummiest caramels I have EVER tasted, and she also makes THE BEST pecan roll.  She still puts an extra one on my parents plate, just for me! :D
As I was planning my list of treats to make this year, caramels were on there as usual..  but I wanted HERS.  Thankfully, I have a collection of ward cookbooks that is pretty impressive, if I do say so myself.  It helps when you are engaged more than the boring old "just once" and your future MIL gives you one from their ward for Christmas. ;)  I found a recipe for "Licorice Caramels" in the one she gave me.
Mary's recipe is really easy:

2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups Karyo syrup
1/2 pound butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk (you can lick the can clean if you are like me!)
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine all ingredients except vanilla.  Stir well on low heat until dissolved.  Bring to boil, stirring constantly.  Cook to a good, firm ball.  Boiling time is about 15 minutes.  Add vanilla.  Pour into a buttered pan.  Let cool.  Cut into squares and wrap.

Now I will let you know, I gave up on candy thermometers about 14 candy thermometers ago.  I use the old "cold water test" and it has never failed me.  If you aren't familiar with the "cold water test", here's how she works:
Take a measuring cup (I prefer my metal ones) put a few ice cubes in it, and fill the rest of the way with cold water.  When your candy is getting close to being at the desired point, drizzle some into the cup, let it take it's shape and you'll know if it's done.

 I also employ my pizza cutter a lot..  it works fantastic for cutting the caramels.

I actually remembered one thing not on my list while on my daily trek to a store...  Anise extract.  I did forget more envelopes and holiday stamps (what are CHRISTMAS cards with a Forever stamp?)..  I will be attempting Licorice Caramels..  I will let you know how it works!


BookwormMom said...

Cole doesn't believe in candy thermometers either...we have had wonderful luck with the cold water test!

They look really yummy!

Ally's Corner said...

Your blog header is so pretty. So is your about me photo.
Wish I lived closer I would be at your door wanting to eat some of those Caramels!

glitterbygrammie said...

I have never used a candy thermometer. My mom taught us how to do the cold water test. It has always amazed my kids to watch me do that.
Thanks for the recipe.

Julie said...

Those look delicious. I'm curious to know how the licorice ones turn out.

jaclyn said...

holy crap the recipe i use for caramels has me standing for 45 minutes stirring, your seems not so daunting.

Bonnie said...

Love the blog header. The carmels look divine! Nothing better. Thank you for posting the recipe. I think this is the one Christmas candy recipe that I have to learn how to make. Mom used to do divinity. I like it ok. But these carmels? They give meaning to my life.

kdance10 said...

Let me know how the licorice ones turn out they sound yummy.

Cami said...

Hi! I'm a blog stalker. I've been stalking yours for sometime now. Haha! Creepy huh?! You have the cutest ideas! Anyway, you had a tutorial for pillowcase dresses on your old blog and it was the only one I could follow! I'd like to share it with my sister. Is there anyway you still have that? I had it bookmarked and it says it doesn't exist anymore. Sad! Thanks!

camigrange at yahoo dot com