Aunt Emily's Soft Caramels

Aunt Emily's Soft Caramels
1994
199 Reviews
Caramel recipe for buttery soft caramels that have been enjoyed for generations.
10 min
Prep Time
1:50
Total Time
72 caramels

Ingredients

2 cups
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
1 cup
firmly packed brown sugar

Directions

  1. Butter 13x9-inch pan; set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour into prepared pan. Cool completely.
  5. Cut into 1 1/2x1-inch pieces; wrap candies in plastic food wrap. Store refrigerated.

Recipe Tips

Nutrition Facts (1 caramel)

Calories
80
Cholesterol
10mg
Carbohydrates
12g
Protein
0g
Fat
4g
Sodium
35mg
Dietary Fiber
0g

Recipe Comments and Reviews

Rating

Hi Joan, it sounds like your themometer might be a bit off - that could cause the seperation you mentioned. Here's a quick way to check if your thermometer is correct: Place it in a pan with enough water to cover the bulb. Bring the water to a boil and let the water boil for several minutes. Read the temperature at eye level. Note the temperature at which the water boils. It will probably be between 200-212 °F. If it reads higher or lower than 212°F, just add or subtract the difference from the temperature your recipe calls for. Hope this helps!

Rating

Rating

Hi Joan, this can happen sometimes when your thermometer is a bit off. Here's a quick way to check if your thermometer is correct: Place it in a pan with enough water to cover the bulb. Bring the water to a boil and let the water boil for several minutes. Read the temperature at eye level. Note the temperature at which the water boils. It will probably be between 200-212 °F. If it reads higher or lower than 212°F, just add or subtract the difference from the temperature your recipe calls for. Hope this helps!

Rating

These caramels are wonderful! I made them for the third time today. When the mixture reached ~242 degrees the butter started to separate out. I allowed it to reach 244, quickly removed from heat, added vanilla and stirred it back into solution. Luckily, it turned out great! This did not happen the first two times I made it. I don't recall doing anything different. What did I do wrong? Thank you!

Test Kitchen Comment
From: Mallory
Hi Joan, this can happen sometimes when your thermometer is a bit off. Here's a quick way to check if your thermometer is correct: Place it in a pan with enough water to cover the bulb. Bring the water to a boil and let the water boil for several minutes. Read the temperature at eye level. Note the temperature at which the water boils. It will probably be between 200-212 °F. If it reads higher or lower than 212°F, just add or subtract the difference from the temperature your recipe calls for. Hope this helps!
Posted March 17, 2016
Test Kitchen Comment
From: Mallory
Posted March 17, 2016
Test Kitchen Comment
From: Mallory
Hi Joan, it sounds like your themometer might be a bit off - that could cause the seperation you mentioned. Here's a quick way to check if your thermometer is correct: Place it in a pan with enough water to cover the bulb. Bring the water to a boil and let the water boil for several minutes. Read the temperature at eye level. Note the temperature at which the water boils. It will probably be between 200-212 °F. If it reads higher or lower than 212°F, just add or subtract the difference from the temperature your recipe calls for. Hope this helps!
Posted March 17, 2016

Rating

Hi Mark, thanks for the additional information! That is a great insight for bakers who live in a high altitude area.

Rating

Mallory, when you are calibrating the candy thermometer, you must adjust for altitude. At sea level, water boils at 212 degrees. You must subtract approximately 2 degrees for every 1,000 foot increase in elevation. So at 3,000 foot elevation, water will boil at slightly over 206 degrees.

Test Kitchen Comment
From: mallory
Hi Mark, thanks for the additional information! That is a great insight for bakers who live in a high altitude area.
Posted February 08, 2016

Rating

My husband surprised me for Valentines Day when he made them for me, they are the best caramels ever!

Rating

Hi Ann, the vanilla flavoring in the corn syrup shouldn't make a difference in the mixture coming to the right temperature. We'd suggest testing your candy thermometer for accuracy. Sometimes they can fluctuate with the weather It's important to test every so often to make sure they are accurate. Place the thermometer in a pan with enough water to cover the bulb. Bring the water to a boil and let the water boil for several minutes. Read the temperature at eye level. Note the temperature at which the water boils. It will probably be between 200-212 °F. If it reads higher or lower than 212°F, just add or subtract the difference from the temperature your recipe calls for. Hope this helps!

Rating

I have made these caramels for years now, with great results. Today I am making a batch and I am having a hard time to get it to the hard ball stage. The only difference I noticed is with the corn syrup, it says "corn syrup with vanilla added". could this be the problem. If so help....thanks

Test Kitchen Comment
From: mallory
Hi Ann, the vanilla flavoring in the corn syrup shouldn't make a difference in the mixture coming to the right temperature. We'd suggest testing your candy thermometer for accuracy. Sometimes they can fluctuate with the weather It's important to test every so often to make sure they are accurate. Place the thermometer in a pan with enough water to cover the bulb. Bring the water to a boil and let the water boil for several minutes. Read the temperature at eye level. Note the temperature at which the water boils. It will probably be between 200-212 °F. If it reads higher or lower than 212°F, just add or subtract the difference from the temperature your recipe calls for. Hope this helps!
Posted January 28, 2016

Rating

I make multiple batches every Christmas. Add chopped toasted pecans and enrobe in melted chocolate for delicious turtle squares. I have also switched out the granulated sugar with granulated maple sugar. Not the easiest thing to find, but it adds a nice, subtle maple flavor. I've found the easiest way to cut this is let it cool in a parchment lined pan. Lift it all out when cool and cut with a metal pizza wheel. Wrap in waxed paper squares right away.

Rating

Hi, we would suggest using 2% or whole milk for caramels. Hope this helps!

Rating

I have made this recipe multiple times and it always turns out beautifully and soooo yummy! I too have made many different caramel variations and by far this one is our favorite! Using this to add to my hot chocolate on a stick this year for Christmas sprinkled with a little coarse sea salt...

Rating

Hi, When I am gathering the ingredients for the caramels, do I use whole milk?

Test Kitchen Comment
From: mallory
Hi, we would suggest using 2% or whole milk for caramels. Hope this helps!
Posted December 21, 2015

Rating

I've tried many caramel recipes and some have sucked and some have been pretty good. But this is the easiest caramel recipe I have ever made and the caramel is perfectly soft and chewy, but hold their shape when cut. I plan to coat these caramels in chocolate and place toasted pecans on top. Thank you Land 'O Lakes!

Rating

Absolutely the best. I've made these two times. I am new at candy making and am always looking for recipes with a cup of butter. I generally bring my temperature closer to 300 for a hard caramel candy. Love it. I wanted to add that the weather makes a huge impact on how your candy turns out. Thanks

Rating

I used 2 cops of whipping cream instead of the milk. I don't use a thermometer, but wheni got a firm ball, not hard, I added pea cans to half the recipe and they were perfect!

Rating

Hi Paul, it sounds like your thermometer may be a bit off. If cooked to 244, they should be firm enough to hold their shape. Here's a quick way to check if your thermometer is correct: Place it in a pan with enough water to cover the bulb. Bring the water to a boil and let the water boil for several minutes. Read the temperature at eye level. Note the temperature at which the water boils. It will probably be between 200-212 °F. If it reads higher or lower than 212°F, just add or subtract the difference from the temperature your recipe calls for. Hope this helps!

Rating

Hi Mallory, Just curious what I could do to make these a little more firm. I drizzled dark chocolate over them and they sort of flattend out a bit. Could I take them to a higher temp than 244 degrees? Please let me know. Other than that they tasted fantasic! Thanks

Test Kitchen Comment
From: mallory
Hi Paul, it sounds like your thermometer may be a bit off. If cooked to 244, they should be firm enough to hold their shape. Here's a quick way to check if your thermometer is correct: Place it in a pan with enough water to cover the bulb. Bring the water to a boil and let the water boil for several minutes. Read the temperature at eye level. Note the temperature at which the water boils. It will probably be between 200-212 °F. If it reads higher or lower than 212°F, just add or subtract the difference from the temperature your recipe calls for. Hope this helps!
Posted December 16, 2015

Rating

Wonderful taste, but a little too soft for my preferences. They aren't kidding that they must be refrigerated! I will keep looking for something a little stiffer. This would be an excellent caramel sauce cooked at 243 degrees.

Rating

This is my second year making this recipe for Christmas gifts. I like to take the caramel off the heat at about 239 deg. Cut them and dip in Hershey's Special dark (melt 1 giant bar with 1TB of shortening, and keep doing that til you run out). Then sprinkle sparsely with sea salt. OMG. Best taste ever.

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