Aunt Emily's Soft Caramels

Aunt Emily's Soft Caramels

Caramel recipe for buttery soft caramels that have been enjoyed for generations.

10 min.prep time 1:50total time
72 caramels
1195119 Ratings

Ingredients

2 cups sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Butter 13x9-inch pan; set aside.

Combine all ingredients except vanilla in heavy 4-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 15-20 minutes or until butter is melted and mixture comes to a boil.

Continue cooking, 25-30 minutes or until candy thermometer reaches 244°F or small amount of mixture dropped into ice water forms a firm ball.

Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour into prepared pan. Cool completely.

Cut into 1 1/2x1-inch pieces; wrap candies in plastic food wrap. Store refrigerated.

Nutrition Facts (1 caramel)

Calories: 80

Fat: 4g

Cholesterol: 10mg

Sodium: 35mg

Carbohydrates: 12g

Dietary Fiber: 0g

Protein: 0g

Recipe #4748b©1995Land O'Lakes, Inc.

Recipe Comments & Reviews

This recipe was excellent! But I have a question:

Do you have any pictures that go along with each step, or quick photo showing how dark the mixture should be before pouring into the prepared pan? I feel like my caramel candies didn't turn out the way that they were suppose to, but not sure. I'm still waiting for them to cool down.

Thank you!
im in love...literally am making it for the 3rd time already...and a just discovered it about a week ago! so delicious and chewy!
I just made this recipe and now i'm waiting for it to cool. So far it's looking good and i'm LOVING it!!! I'm in a caramel phase, so this is perfect! I'm using a loaf pan (can't find my 13x9 pan) so the pieces will be either slices or blocks, but that doesn't phase me. Great recipe! Thank you!!!
will freezing butter then defrosting have any effect on the caramels.
Also, I live in Alabama and am wondering if humidity will be a problem.
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Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Mallory

Hi Mary, freezing the butter and defrosting it should have no effect on the caramels. However, humidity can affect the way caramels set up once prepared.
Posted August 15, 2014
I made this recipe, it turned out great. My intention was to use it for turtles but the caramel didn't set to a hard enough stage unless refrigerated. The flavor is wonderful maybe altitude Carson City NV had something to do with it.
this Recipe is great. I used clarified butter and it still worked well. I assume it worked because you cook it over 212 degrees so the milk solids would have cooked out anyways. Really nice recipe.
Amazing. Family approved!
Finished product was soft and firm on tom, runny like ice cream topping underneath Stured the heck out of it and wouldn't firm up all the way
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Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

Ron, Cooking the caramel mixture precisely to the temperature listed in the method of this recipe is extremely important. If the mixture does not firm up (but not get hard) it means that the mixture did not get cooked long enough or did not reach the desired temperature.
Posted March 28, 2014
x
Perfect every time!
I have made this Rx 5 times and every time perfect. I think our best batch was when I did not have any other brown sugar excep dark. It gave a deeper color, but the Carmel burst with flavor. I use a non stick pan. I lightly butter parchment paper for my jelly roll pan, and I use water and my Pampered chef basting brush to keep sides of pan clean. I use Pampered Chef candy thermometer and cook on medium heat and I do not stir after mixture starts to boil. When mixture reaches 244 I remove from heat and stir in vanella. I will admit I do add more vanella, but I live the flavor it brings to the caramel.
Now if I could just learn to cut the pieces all the same size.
I really would love for some one to give me a "best ever" dark chocolate dipping Rx for theses caramels.
I just made this and it turned out perfectly! Not too runny, not too hard, and perfectly rich and buttery. I used it for homemade turtles and they are fantastic! Thank you for the top notch recipe!
I just made these. They are cooling and I'm going to sprinkle them with some sea salt crystals mostly because I used unsalted butter.I generally cook with unsalted but some salt helps sweets taste better. We live at about 6400 ft. I boiled some water and found that we boil water at about 199-200 degrees so I subtracted that amount from the temperature in the recipe to find our "altitude levels". Basically at our altitude the thermometer's soft ball number is our firm number or close to it. I use the thermometer and then use the dip a bit of mixture into cold water in my custard cups to verify. I also only had 2% milk so I added a little bit of the heavy cream to my milk to get it closer to the 4% of regular milk. One thing for novices, butter melts around 150 degrees so there is not an immediate rise from when it says butter melts to when it starts looking like molten lava which means it is getting closer to the temperatures we want to achieve. For others at higher altitudes, you can google boiling point of water at elevation and there is a calculator. If we are having normal barimetric pressures that should be useful. if it is snowing wet or raining then more adjustments may need to be made.
Made this recipe yesterday and they turned out excellent. I used some of them to make turtles with that also came out delicious.
I just made this recipe for a caramel brownie recipe. Wow, they are amazing! It made a lot, so I am able to wrap the remaining caramel for a treat! Great recipe, I really liked the tip about testing in water, it really helped me when making!
I was planning to make the Samoa girl scout cookies, but homemade, I was wondering if this caramel will work well for that? Thank yoou!
first time i made them, they were wonderful, the second and thrid attempt had dark sugar at the bottom of the pan at the end of play, i stirred occasionaly until boiling then not again until i added the vanilla, had the heat on a lower setting (third attempt) but it still went wrong. any ideas where i went wrong?
I made this recipe last night. Mine also didn't set all of the way but, i found a solution and salvaged it. it came out to an almost soft ball stage though i boiled it to 244. i let it set until all the way cooled but it was still mushy. My solution was i sprayed ice cube trays with cooking spray, melted some chocolate and put a teaspoonful in the bottom, i then rolled small balls and set them in the chocolate and topped with more chocolate. i popped them in the fridge for a quick set and voila, chocolate candies with a gooey caramel center! Trying another batch tomorrow night and hopefully it will turn out correct!
Caramel is out of this world delicious! Just be sure to use a bigger pot, it does expand while cooking! Everyone loved this!!!
I made this the other day and got a very hard, crunchy caramel. I used a candy thermometer and it might have gotten to 245 degrees, but otherwise I followed the recipe exactly. What should I do?
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Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

It is very important to not cook this caramel mixture to a higher temperature than what the recipe states. A suggestion I have is to check your candy thermometer and make sure it is registering correctly. With this recipe even 1 degree can make a difference in how hard the caramel is.
Posted December 10, 2013
If you follow the directions correctly they turn out perfectly! I have made them 3x now with no problems. Two of my friends made them and had trouble. One stirred continuously while boiling and the other had her heat too high and they got hard. I found them to be perfect and very delicious!
I have not tried this recipe version. I have a question. I live at 7100 ft altitude. From other web pages, I've read that I need to decrease the final boiling temp 2 degrees for every 1000 ft. Do I need to change the sugar/honey/cream measurements? I tried to do this with a different recipe but the caramel came out semi hard. How can I allow for the altitude and still have the caramels come out soft and chewy?
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Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

My suggestion is for you to contact your local extension service who will have specific information for you about varying times, temperatures and ingredients at a high altitude. It can be tricky when making candy and so having specific information about the altitude you live at is important.
Posted December 10, 2013
These are wonderful caramels. I substituted 1/4 cup of Butter Rum coffee flavoring syrup for some of the corn syrup and they were divine. I also cooked them to about 237 degrees to make them a little softer. It worked great!
My candy thermometer is broken so I tried making this recipe with the method of dropping caramel in ice water to see if it was ready. I thought I had it right, but it's under cooked. Is it possible to recook it?
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Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

You could put the caramel mixture back into the pan and continue cooking it. But, If you determine this when it has been poured onto the pan for too long a time it might be more difficult. It might be easier to start over. It is just fine to test your candy mixture with the cold water test but in the case of candy it needs to be soft bust still hold its soft shape.
Posted December 10, 2013
Great recipe and so easy! I left out the corn syrup, and substituted maple syrup- they turned out mapley delish! Thank you for sharing. :)

I don't know what I did wrong. First I did stir the mixture while boiling and after reading the comments, realize that I shouldn't have done it. It did reach 244 degrees but I am having problems cutting it. It is so soft and gooey as if I under cooked it. I had it in the refrigerator over night trying to get it to set but still not working. It taste delicious. Just hope I can figure out how to cut and wrap without it running.
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Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

Using a candy thermometer as you did is the most accurate way to know if the candy mixture has reached the correct doneness temperature. I suggest you check to see if the thermometer measures accurately. Place the ball end of the thermometer into boiling water and see if it measures 212 degrees F. The sign that the mixture has not been cooked long enough and to the correct temp. is that it is sticky and runny. On the other hand you also do not want to cook the mixture to higher than 244 degrees because it will get hard.
Posted December 03, 2013
how long does it take for them to cool before you can cut and wrap
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Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

I suggest you wait at least 2 hours and possibly even a little longer. The candy will be room temperature and hold its shape.
Posted December 03, 2013
I am considering using this recipe to make caramels for family. Please tell me as to if this is a good recipe and does it turn out similar to wearthers soft caramel. thx
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Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

Yes, this is a recipe I make every year and I get many positive comments from friends who I give caramels to.
Posted December 03, 2013
This is my second time makes these BUTTERY DELICIOUS TREATS.... Thank you!
I am wondering if one should use salted or I salted butter? Thanks!
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Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

I always use salted butter in my caramels. I make this recipe every year about this time. Either salted or unsalted will be fine in this recipe but I wanted to tell you what I use when I make these caramels.
Posted November 25, 2013
I would like to make caramels to pass out at my office. I have recently tasted flavored caramels (mocha, coffee, apple) and was wondering about the process of adding flavors? Do you think that would hurt the consistency of the caramel?
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Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

Carol, you could try adding some flavoring to these rich, buttery caramels. be careful on the amount so the consistency of the caramels is not changed. I would also add the flavoring after the mixture reaches the temperature listed in the recipe. Great idea!
Posted November 10, 2013
I have a question about the recipe. I have made caramels in the past and I had to stir them continuously during the second cooking period. This recipe doesn't mention any stiring during the second cooking time. Do you stir it during the 25-30 minute period?
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Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

I make this recipe every year. Once the mixture boils you should not have to stir the mixture as it reaches the 242-244 degree setting. if stirred the sugar crystals may be disrupted and not form perfectly.
Posted November 25, 2013
I just made this for a friends birthday. Since i have had a few bad experiences with making caramels i decided this time to cook at a lower stove temperature and calibrate candy thermometer beforehand. It did take longer than the time stated in the recipe but as long as it comes out like it should it is not a problem. Candy thermometer accuracy seems to be the key for getting it right..so calibrating might be a good idea and be sure it does not touch the bottom of the pan. Thanks for a great recipe.
This did not work for me. I did not cook it to the firm stage but still ended up with something close to toffee. Debating if I will try it again.
I made this caramel recipe last night, and it was delicious. The cook time did take considerably longer than the recipe stated to reach the 242 degrees.It took approximately 30-35 minutes to bring to a boil and another 1 and a half hours longer to reach the required temperature. One only has to taste these caramels to know it was worth EVERY minute of it! Simply delicious melt in your mouth.I would suggest using parchment paper and spraying with no-stick cooking spray, as it seems easier to get the caramels off the parchment paper than wax paper. I learned this through trial and error.. more error.
What is the shelf life on these seeing as is they do contain milk
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Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

Store caramels in a cool place, not in the refrigerator for 2 - 3 weeks. If caramels are stored in the refrigerator they could pick up moisture. Cut and wrap the caramels in plastic wrap or wax paper. If caramels are well wrapped they can be frozen for longer storage.
Posted October 31, 2013
This recipe is PERFECT. We made it and the caramels turned out perfect and delicious. The cook time was longer than expected...took about 1:45 to get the temp to 240 degrees, then the last 3-4 degrees happened in a matter of 3-4 minutes. Not sure why the cooking time took so long, but our patience paid off. For a fun variation we greased one pan then lined crushed salted pretzels on the bottom, poured the caramel in, then lined the top with pretzels too. FYI, this recipe is good, but not great, for caramel apples because of the consistency. Enjoy!
Love this recipe! However, I wanted to share that there is a difference between whipping cream and heavy whipping cream and that difference is the fat content, with heavy having about 6% more fat. Same goes for the milk, depending on the type you use. When I realized this and increased to 1.5 C whipping cream and 1/2 C 2% milk my caramels have turned out perfect every time! They are amazing melt in your mouth soft caramels. Maybe this could help those that have been having problems with getting hard camels! This is now my favorite, easy go to recipe! Thank you so much for sharing!
What is the best way to cut this recipe into 1 inch squares? What do you use to cut with? Do you cut the caramel in the pan? I use a pizza cutter and lay the caramel on wax paper to cut. Please advise me on your method.
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Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

Yes, it is best to take the caramels out of the pan and cut them on a flat surface. We use a sharp knife and cut straight down rather than using a sawing motion. Another idea is to use a scissors to cut the caramels or as you indicate a pizza cutter can work. If the caramel is too hard you could warm the knife slightly so that it can cut through the caramel more easily. One more thing - I usually use a ruler so I can check the size I cut the caramels into.
Posted October 04, 2013
Do you think that I could use this recipe for a caramel apples? And maybe adding a little
more cream to get the right consistency.
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Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

I think this mixture for caramels may be too thick as is to use for caramel apples. The mixture does set up to be 1-inch squares and are not too soft.
Posted October 04, 2013
God Bless Auntie Emily! Perfect recipe and easy to follow! Many of my friends compared my caramels to what their mother's used to make. No higher compliment than that!
I need a carmel that i can mix with toasted coconut as a topping on a brownie. My problem the sore bought version is it doesn't stay soft. When it sets i can not cut it. Do you think this recipe will be a good one for this baking project?
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Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

Without trying the recipe using this caramel it is hard to know if it will work. This is a softer caramel. When cooking a caramel mixture it is important to cook to the temp. noted in the recipe because if the mixture cooks to too high a temp. is will get hard and I am then quite sure it may not work out for your recipe.
Posted August 30, 2013
My husband just LOVES chocolate, peanut and caramel candy bars... So, I figured I would try to make him some homemade ones using this recipe... We made the caramel together, exactly as explained, then, although I was timing it, as well as noticing it reducing as it boiled, I realized my candy thermometer did not seem to be going any higher than 225 degrees no matter how close I was getting timing wise... So, as a regular candy maker, I have learned to always have fall backs at the ready... I dropped it in ice water, & waalaa, perfect... I poured it in my waiting buttered glass pan, & let it cool completely... Rather than cut to size stated, I cut them into like 4 inch long by 1 inch logs, then I rolled them in cocktail peanuts that have sea salt... If you LOVE chocolate, peanut and caramel candy bars as much as my hubby, you MUST give it a shot !!! It yielded 24 candy bars, & my ingredients cost me $8.00... 24 store bought bars, at .85 each runs me $20.40, so I saved like $12.40 & the homemade version is so much better...
How disappointing to spend this much time and energy and have poor results. I did everything exactly as written and my "caramels" were hard as a rock! Great if you were attempting a hard candy result. Will absolutely not try again.
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Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

I am sorry to hear about your experience with making caramels. This is my "go-to" caramel recipe and I always get soft caramels. One critical thing is to make sure your candy thermometer is accurate and that you precisely not cook them higher than 244 degrees. In fact you could stop cooking the caramels even at 242 degrees. I realize this is an unusual temperature to cook to since marks on the thermometer are in 5 degree increments. But, the higher the mixture is cooked the harder the caramels will be.
Posted June 24, 2013
I am 13 years of age and I love this recipe! whenever i do it it turns out great only when i add in all the recipes like i did it last year and didnt put whipping cream in it so when i was done it was all hard but it was still yummy:) i just love this recipie you should try it out!!!
I made this recipe about 2 years ago and it was amazing!!!! I tried making it last year for Christmas, and had bad results which turned out to be a bad candy thermometer. I tried making them twice this year with a brand new, calibrated thermometer, and they turn out really hard every time! I cooked to exactly 244 (actually, 241 since I'm 1500 feet above sea level, so I adjust the temp down 3 degrees).

Do I just need to experiment? Also, one of the other posters noticed the whipping cream used to be heavy whipping cream. Perhaps that's an issue? Which one is it supposed to be?
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Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

Candy making is very precise. It is great you purchased a new thermometer but you may need to experiment with it.Caramels can sometimes be tricky to make. Also I want to make sure you know that heavy whipping cream is the same thing as whipping cream.
Posted April 30, 2013
I regularly double the batch size - the key is to use an 8-quart stock pot so you have ample room to accommodate the increased volume of ingredients. The only downside is that it takes twice as long to wrap them all! This is a superb recipe that is enjoyed and regularly requested by everyone that has tried them. PS: Sprinkling them with sea-salt after letting them cool for a few minutes is definitely worth trying if you haven't already done so!
I have made several batches and am really pleased with the outcome. I plan to make about 10 more batches (making them for wedding favors). Have you ever doubled the recipe? I'd like to~ but don't want to mess it up.
Thanks!
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Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

This is my favorite caramel recipe! My suggestion is to not double the recipe since the candy volume may get too large for your equipment. For success in candy making I believe you should just make each batch as the recipe is written.
Posted April 08, 2013
I just made these candies last night, they are fantastic. Followed the recipe and they are perfection! Cut and wrapped in wax paper and headed to our family Easter ! Must say i'm impressed thank you for a GREAT recipe.
I made this and i am cooling them. How long are we supposed to cool them, and where? They look great though.
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Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

This caramel recipe is my go-to recipe when I want to make caramels. I am sure you will like it. You should cool the caramels at room temperature until they are cool and firm, but not hard. You should be able to cut the caramels into individual pieces. It may take 2 hours or so.
Posted March 26, 2013
I have made several batches and all were perfect. Thanks for the great recipe!
I love this recipe and the caramels are so delicious. I use this caramel in making turtles. The caramel is very creamy and has a nice consistency when you bite into the turtle, but I have noticed after a few days the caramel in the turtles looks very dry and doe not have the same pull stretch like it did on the first few days. Can anyone tell me what is going on? Thanks so much.
I use this recipe over and over and over again....so fail proof if you follow the instructions precisely!!!
I would like to use the caramel to make turtle candies. Do i need to go through the whole process of cooling or can I spoon the caramel right onto the cashews as soon as the caramel reaches the desired temperature and the vanilla is mixed in?
Excellent recipe really enjoyed those caramels. My first time making the caramels and turned out amazing. Whole family enjoys them now. :)
Delish but mine came out way sticky and super extra soft. They stuck to the pan and took a ton of patience to try cut and wrap them. And they stuck to the wrapping. Really bummed. Any suggestions?
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Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

Kim, These caramels are so good. Either the caramels are sticky because they could have been cooked to a higher temperature, such as 145 degrees F. Even a couple of degrees short of that could make a difference. Also, if the weather on the day you make the caramels is humid at all, that humidity can play a part in how sticky the caramels get. Hope you give it another try. This recipe is my favorite that I always use.
Posted February 18, 2013
I tried this last night and as a first timer was nervous it wouldn't turn out right but they are delicious! I only made a half batch and they turned out great 6 people have already enjoyed these.
I've never made caramels before but wanted to so I found this one and wow. A candy thermometer is very important. The only thing is that I hare to keep putting it in the refrigerantor while cutting it. It kept getting rather soft. Not to soft but it made it easier to cut cold.
I made this last night, cooked it to 142 - 143 degrees. I left it to cool over night and it seperated! Looks like creamy butter in top, and clear dark colored in bottom. Any idea what I did wrong? I make candies a lot and have never had this problem. Is that what happens when you undercook? Maybe my thermometer is off? Way off? The only thing is that I feel like it had been boiling for like a half hour.
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Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

This recipe is a favorite of mine and I usually make it in the holidays at least once. You cooked it to approximately the correct temperature. I cook it to 242 to about 244 degrees, not 142-143 degrees. . But one other thing is that the candy mixture is fragile and if it is poured out of the cooking pan you could have disrupted it in some way to the emulsion of fat and liquid broke. Typically when this happens you will have a fat or butty layer on top and a thicker darker color underneath. I will see this more commonly with toffee but it can happen with caramels as well. For now, you could add some water to the hardened candy and re-cook the candy mixture to about 244 degrees. Follow the recipe as written and see if after the candy cools it has a better texture. Let me know if it worked.
Posted January 07, 2013
I tried this recipe out, but I didn't have a candy thermometer. I did the ice water trick and it turned out great, so I thought my caramels were done. I ended up having caramel soup. So if you are to try this recipe or making carames in general, I suggest you use an actual candy thermometer. Yet the recipe does make the most delicious caramels in the world and I loved eating my caramel soup!
I love, love this recipe! Could I make just half of the recipe? It's so good, I want to eat the whole batch..
I was so nervous to make caramels b/c I have never made candy before. I followed the recipe and made sure not to stir after it started boiling and they turned out great. It took a long time to get to 244 degrees so just be patient. Thanks for the great recipe. This will be a Xmas tradition for me!
I'm having a bad caramel year. First too hard (discovered my thermometer was off by 20 degrees!) and this time I undercooked them. Can I re-heat the undercooked batch to get it to the proper temp?

Thanks.
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Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

Yes, you could re-heat the caramel mixture and cook it to the proper temperature measured on a candy thermometer. It is crucial that you cook the caramel mixture to the temp. listed in the recipe. Undercooked - the mixture will be sticky and if overcooked the mixture will yield a very hard caramel.
Posted December 31, 2012
For those who said these turned out too hard - if you live at elevation you need to adjust the final temperature by subtracting one degree for every 500ft above sea level. - This makes a big difference!
I've never made caramels before, and this recipe turned out perfect! The only issue I've had is, as soon as my thermometer reads 240, the syrup starts to get brown spots, and I can't seem to stop this from happening.

I've made about 6 batches so far, and every single one has worked just fine for me. I even cut some into little squares, and dipped them in chocolate and topped it with sea salt. Yum!
My caramels turned out really hard, is there any way to fix this? Can I put it in a double boiler melt it and add more cream? I wanted touse them for making turtles!
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Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

The caramel candy mixture will get very hard if cooked to too high a temperature. Even a few degrees can make a difference. I suggest cooking the candy to 244 degrees on the candy thermometer. Once cooked you really cannot successfully re-cook the candy, adding some cream.It is about the temperature to which the candy was cooked initially.
Posted December 20, 2012
I really enjoyed this Recipe, I added a 1/2 A cup of Peanut Butter, it was Wonderful! Great Reicpe Thank-You! Happy Holidays. God Bless Everyone!
I tried these today. The instructions, I felt, were very clear. But after I allowed them to cool completely, they were so hard that I could not cut them. Any suggestions on what I did wrong? Do you pour the mixture in a metal or glass pan? Does that make a difference? I did continue to stir after the mixture began to boil. I know it must be me, as others had good luck with them. Any suggestions? Thank you.
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Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

I use this recipe every year in the holidays to make for gifts. Here are a couple of hints - once the mixture comes to a boil it should not be stirred. This disturbs the sugar mixture as it cooks. Next, just cook the caramel mixture to 244 degrees but not any higher. It is an odd temperature but it isi important to not cook to a higher temperature since the caramels will get quite hard. Finally I use a buttered metal pan to pour the cooked caramel mixture out onto.
Posted December 17, 2012
I wish you had mentioned in the instructions not to scrape down the sides of the pan with the occatsional stir. I have a pan of grainy caramels that I had wanted to use as gifts....bummer
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Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

Sorry this happened. I have made these caramels many times and I do not stir it once the mixture comes to a boil. You have a good idea to add a tip about this to the recipe. I will do that so it helps others who make this candy recipe. Thanks.
Posted December 15, 2012
I first printed this receipe in 2008 why has the brown sugar been omitted and heavy whipping cream been changed see old recipe below?
2 cups sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup LAND O LAKES® Butter
1 cup milk
1 cup LAND O LAKES™ Heavy Whipping Cream
1 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
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Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

You are correct. The brown sugar was deleted from the recipe and it should not have been. I have inserted it into the ingredient listing and the recipe is now correct.
Posted December 03, 2012
I am looking for a caramel candy that I can use in the center of a cookie recipe. I used Kraft Caramels, but although they were nice and soft when hot/warm, they hardened too much after a day of cooling. Those who have made these...do you think they will stay a little 'easier on the teeth' after I bake them in the center of a cookie?
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Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

I suggest you use a caramel mixture that is part of another recipe such as our Dulce De Leche cookie recipe. The caramel filling in that recipe was formulated to be a filling in a cookie.
Posted December 03, 2012
can i substitute 2 cups of half n half in place of the milk and the whipping cream? i have made it exactly as the recipe calls for and it turned out wonderful. i was just wondering about the half n half substitution because i always have that on hand and don't always have the whipping cream because it is pricey.
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Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

You could use half & half in place of the whipping cream. More important is that you use the same amount of half & half as the whipping cream in the recipe.
Posted December 03, 2012
i was just wondering, do they HAVE to be stored in the fridge?
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Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

I suggest storing the caramels in the refrigerator since they tend to get a little soft if stored at room temp.
Posted November 27, 2012
We have made this recipe for over 15 years. It is the best. It started as something to help keep the kids busy a few days before Christmas and quickly became a tradition for gifts for teachers and friends. Everyone loves them.
I made this caramel and it came out PERFECT!! I am so pleased because I used another recipe and the caramel was kind of grainy but so delicious....I will be using this recipe from now on and like a few other reviewers here I used substituted an additional cup of whipping cream for the the milk and made an addition to one other ingredient to make it my own recipe. Absolutely delicious!!
This is a great recipie It takes practice and a good candy thermometer to have consistant results.Best caramels I have ever had. I did figure out a time saving trick. Instead of pouring the cooked mixture into a glass pan, place it in a Wilton silicone bite size brownie pan. It has 24 slots. I bought 2 and now all I have to do is place the liquid in each slot and then wait for it to set up. Then pop out the carmels on a cutting board and use a piazza cutting wheel to cut them in half. Works so well and then wrap and store.
This recipe worked perfect. The only change I made was 2 cups whipping cream, and no milk. They came out perfectly chewy. I also added some course sea salt to make it salted carmel!
I used this recipe to make caramel apples, and it turned out wonderfully! Thanks for sharing.
I also tried all cream and they are wonderful.....for Sharri....I think you forgot the second step...after they come to a boil, Continue cooking, until candy thermometer reaches 244°F. or small amount of mixture dropped into ice water forms a firm ball (about 25 to 30 minutes).

This is the key step....and I cooked to 241 per other reviewer comments, and they were nice and soft....
These are the BEST!!! I read a few comments and made mine with 2 cups whipping cream and no milk. They turned out perfect!! Everyone at work loved them. I'm going to make them for Christmas gifts. Just don't make them when you are in a hurry. Take your time and do it right and they should turn out just fine. They are well worth the wait.

Would love to hear how others cut and stored their carmels. Thanks, Diane
I'm confused as to how long to keep it on the burner, I brought it to a boil then took it off the heat and added the vanilla. I poured it into the pan and it stayed very liquidy - it never hardend. Did I not get it hot enough? Help!! thanks!
i made this recipe and i would rate it five stars for sure, it was easy for this beginner cook and it came out fantastic, thanks you
I thought of making caramels for christmas gifts so I tried this recipe as practice for upcoming holiday. I only had to make them once and they turned out awesome. Might even try dipping some in chocolate to see what happens.
I have made this recipe many times, love it!! I separate little plops of caramel onto parchment paper for the majority of the caramels. I wrap some of them in parchment paper & twist the ends to seal. It makes fantastic taffy apples! I used Honey Crisp apples & ice cream nut topping to coat & kind of pressed the nuts into the caramel. I waited till caramel had cooled & reheated a small amount in the microwave so apple wouldn't cook & get mushy.
This made absolutely delicious caramel candy. I think maybe I cooked it a little too long as it is a bit harder than I expected it would be. I used some to dip caramel apples and after hardening overnight, the coating is really to hard to bite through. The candies, however, are perfect and delicious. This is a very easy recipe although it does take some patience. It's too tasty to not try again. My husband who is not a big candy fan said it was the best caramel that he has ever tasted!
I made this recipe over ten times and I loved the flavor but it was not as soft as I wanted. I have experimented and finally feel I got it perfect. The most important thing is the temperature. A few degrees off makes a big difference. I found that cooking the caramel to just 241 degrees makes a softer and better candy. Also, I cut the butter into pieces and froze it before putting in the mix. I had read somewhere that this would make a difference and I think it did because this turned out absolutely PERFECT. One other thing I changed was I substitued the milk for heavy whipping cream...which meant 2 cups of whipping cream and no milk. These turned out exactly like the ones I have purchased for a dollar each in stores next to the cash register. I hope you try this because I know you'll be pleased.
Can I substitute 2 cups of half & half for the milk & cream?

Also do you use light or dark brown sugar, and can I use turbinado or unrefined cane sugar? (I don't buy white sugar because of the bleaching process).
Been making caramels for years never had a problem but these didn't turn out followed the instructions , possible brown sugar made them get sugar crystals good flavor
so tasty! And not a sticky caramel. More of a melt-in-your-mouth kind. If anyone has heard of knutsens caramels, I would compare the two!
I am not sure what happened to my caramels. The next day they started to crystalize. I think I might try using ONLY granulated sugar and NO brown sugar. Not sure if I will try again.
author_photo
Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

This is the caramel candy recipe I amke every year in the holidays. It is important to cook the mixture to the temperature listed in the recipe and not any higher. For caramels the temperature is very exact. Also, store them refrigerated because the humidity may be an issue if the humidity is too high when stored at room temperature.
Posted March 25, 2012
AWESOME!! I make these every year around Christmas and everyone loves them.
Did anyone else notice that they needed to be cooked at a higher temp than 244? Mine were too soft.. maybe 250 next time? Help :(
I tried this recipe at Christmas for the first time. These are good, very creamy,soft,chewy caramels.They are a little time consuming as far as the cooking goes. Gave them to friends and family for Christmas. Everyone raved about them. Try them if you like your caramels soft and chewy !
These are the best caramels I have ever tasted. Although it takes awhile to make these wonderful treats, it's well worth the time. I made 30 lbs. of Aunt Emily's caramels last Christmas and the people I gave them to are still raving about them.
My husband and I have made these caramels over and over because our family members, friends and co-workers ask us for them over and over! They are easy to make and we double the recipe all the time. We have found that using non-stick aluminum wrap works well instead of buttering the pans. My husband likes this because there are less dishes to clean afterwards.
EASY! I have tried several caramel recipes and this one is the best mouth-feel. The right balance of chewiness and firmness. I added some sea-salt crystals to the top of the caramels immediately after I poured it into the 9x13 pan. Probably 1-2 tsp total. The crunch and bite of the salt contrasts beautifully with the sweetness of the caramel. You need the large crystals of the sea salt to do this - don't use regular salt !
I have made this recipe for years and everyone in my family LOVES it!!
The best caramels ever! They are soft and chewy, and the buttery flavor is wonderful!
I made these a few weeks ago and I'm am making them again for Christmas. They are turned out great and everyone that had one commented on how good they are.
I have made these for about 10 years now last year I did not get them made and my kids were not happy they have gone to get the heavy cream so I can make them for them. This is by far the best caramel recipe I have ever made and there have been a few.
love em
author_photo
Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

This the caramel recipe I make year after year! Everyone loves it!
Posted December 04, 2011
very easy, good flavor, melts in your mouth, not at all chewy
Was awesome the first time, making it again, oh yay!

I made these today in no time. By far and away the best caramel candy recipe I've ever tried. I added black walnuts and oh my gosh they are divine!!! Just don't overcook or they become a little too chewy. What a great gift idea. I will be trying the chocolate caramels next.
I made these wonderful caramels in no time. SO easy and GOOD. Just don't overcook as they get too chewy.
I didn't have karo syrup - so replaced it with glucose. I also didn't have the thermometer- so attempted the ice water method.

I think I needed to cook my mixture a wee bit longer- it came out very liquidey.

I also think I will add less butter next time- perhaps it's because I didn't cook it long enough.. but my caramels were very greasy on top and bottom.

They were not very chewy and actually reminded me a bit of fudge. I will try this recipe again and hope it turns out as good as everyone else says.
to those of you who made/make this successfully- what is the consistency of the mixture when poured into the greased pan?

I've just made it and was surprised by how liquidey the mixture was. I'm waiting for it to cool now, however am not expecting great results. I didn't have karo syrup - so replaced it with glucose. I also didn't have the thermometer- so attempted the ice water method. I will let you know how it turned out.
Do I have to constantly stir it for the last 25-30 minutes? And do I keep the heat at medium or turn it down once the mixture boils?
author_photo
Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Cindy

Once the candy mixture boils, you do not need to stir the mixture constantly. Just stir occasionally. It is important to cook the caramels on medium throughout the cooking time.
Posted August 15, 2011
Used unsalted butter, added a 1/4 tsp salt
They tasted extremly good
First time making caramel. Surprisingly easy, but long process. I've made them 2 Christmas' now. My kids love them.
Perfection! After trying several recipes prior, this one is the best by far!
<3
Great recipe thanks, and it makes a good amount for the cake stall at the kid's school.
From the Test Kitchen...
Thanks Mrs. Creative, for your question. Caramels can be made and wrapped a long time ahead. You can wrap them and freeze if you plan to keep the candy longer than 2 months until you need it. Do not mix candy types in one container and be sure to allow a couple of hours for thawing before eating. Up to two months wrap and refrigerate the caramels but if longer than that wrap and freeze the caramels.
I did this recipe and it's very good. Just before it reached the temperature, I poured some preparation into miniature cones. Excellent!!!
Does anyone know how long these will keep for once wrapped? If you can drop me a comment over at my blog I'd appreciate it - mrscreative.blogspot.com thanks in advance
AWESOME. This was great and very easy to make. I will be making this one again.
I made this last year for Christmas. Everyone loved it. I had never made caramel before and I couldn't believe how easy it was. Wonderful!
These are delicious! They've become a standard of my holiday "baking."
These are great!! This year I am going to dip homemade marshmallow in the carmel and then roll in pecans! Another great thing to do with is make homemade turtles. YUMMY!
I don't know what I did wrong, but mine did not turn out at all. It is more of a syrup, they never hardened so that I could cut them. Any words of wisdom would be great, my hubby really wanted carmels!
I just made these caramels for the 3rd year in a row. They are so delicious and so easy to make. If you do not typically make candies because it's intimidating, you can make these. Follow the directions and they come out perfect: soft, chewy, and buttery.
This is exactly what I have been looking for, so delicious. Exactly like the soft caramels you occasionally see sold at check out counters for 50 cents each. This was so simple to make, doesn't require a lot of fuss or a candy thermometer - the firm ball test works perfectly. The hardest part is wrapping them all! I used wax paper cut from the roll in about a 6" strip, then cut that with scissors into thirds. If you cut the caramel in long strips, you can chop the strip into pieces more easily and quickly. These make fantastic gifts because they are hard to find in stores and people just love them.
I was a little nervous about making these because the thermometer I have only goes up to 220 degrees. I have a neighbor who makes caramels as well so I just watched it carefully and waited until it looked like hers and it turned out great! I put the pan in the fridge after it was cooled and it was a lot easier to cut. These caramels are definitely going to be an addition to the goodies I make for Christmas gifts!
These were the first caramels I've made and they were absolutely delicious. I had to stop myself from 'sampling' the whole batch as I wrapped them for our church Christmas Bazaar! Thanks for such a perfect recipe!
Love this caramels!!! I have make these so many times I can't count. I usually dip them in chocolate for an added treat. These are great to package as gifts... I have doubled the recipe with no problems. Thes are soft, buttery and creamy...Just the best!!
Love it. I come back often to make it for the holidays. It was recommended by a friend.
I have made this candy several times. My family loves it.
A couple times I did not cook the candy to a high enough temp. But I was able to fix it by cooking it again. This candy can be cooked to a soft or hard state.
Great Recipe.
This have got to be the very best candy I have ever made!! I took some to work and gave away some in christmas baskets this year and was told by everyone to make more. I even had a few offers for people to buy them from me!!!!
Warning: make these caramels, but don't share. If you share they will want them all the time! Easy and very good.
I just made these and they are super good-I love the big ones-but could have cut them smaller to give away in my Christmas goodie baskets.
I have made this recipe for the holidays for the last 15 years. It was instantly a family favorite!
When my daughter was in college I would make a tray of cookies and candies for her to share with her friends during the holidays. They have all graduated now, but they ask every year if I will make the caramels. I make sure that they each get a bag at Christmas time.
I wrap the caramels individually in colored candy wrappers and put them in seasonally decorated bags. Then I tie the bags with pretty curly ribbons and add a personal note.
It is an easy recipe to make and I always have to do some "taste testing" to make sure they have turned out!
Wow! These caramels are buttery and chewy. They would make a wonderful gift if they don't disappear first.
From The Test Kitchen
This is the only recipe I use for caramels! It is excellent! Each year I make 2 to 3 batches of caramels, wrap them in colorful candy wrappers and give caramels as gifts in the holidays.
I make homemade caramel a lot. I decided to give this recipe a try. It was fantastic. The flavor is really good and it's by far the easiest recipe I've used. I will make this recipe again.
I've never made caramel before because I thought it would be too difficult. Wow...this recipe is not only super easy, but delicious! It'll look great on my candy tray and I'll feel proud to say that I made them myself!
What a great recipe!!! These were a breeze to make!! Will probably make them a yearly tradition!! Buttery delicious!! The best part is that it really does make quite a bit so there's plenty for gift giving too!!
I've been looking for this recipe for a long time, this is the one!! chewy, buttery, soft caramels, like my grandma use to make in my native province of Quebec...can't believe I found it here, do not hesitate to make this scruptious candy, it is the recipe you are looking for I'm sure!!!
I have been making these for Christmas gifts for about 6 years, and they always work! It is really important to make sure your thermometer is accurate to have success.
This is my third year making these caramels. They always turn out so wonderful!
I made these carmels with my 5 and 7 year old daughters for Christmas. They loved helping and watching the carmel boil. The recipe is easy to follow and the carmels have a nice buttery flavor. Perfect for gift giving!
Easy recipe to follow. Easy to make as long as you watch your candy thermometer to make sure you hit the right temp. I love that it makes so much. Great for holiday gifts. I will make them again
I don't know what I did wrong but my caramels were so soft I couldn't work with them.
Very easy to make. Great buttery flavor. Good gift idea.

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