As I was perusing the web for a caramel candy recipe, I discovered that there are quite a few. Overwhelmed--I decided to settle on the one that was deemed a classic recipe from the Old Recipe Book. I chose to go with the "Melt in the Mouth Caramels," which is the first one on the website.
(makes about 2 1/2 pounds. this recipe yields quite a bit of caramel, so feel free to 1/2 the recipe if you need to)
1 cup butter or margarine
1 pound brown sugar (16 oz.)
Dash salt (I used about 1/2 tsp--Who doesn't love salt and caramel together?)
1 cup light corn syrup
1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I did 1 1/2)
1.Melt butter in heavy saucepan (important that it's a heavy pan).
2. Add brown sugar and salt. Stir until combined well.
3. Stir in syrup and mix well.
4. Gradually add milk--stirring constantly.
5. Cook and stir over medium heat until candy reaches "firm ball" stage on candy thermometer (245 degrees)--about 12-15 minutes.
6. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla.
7. Pour into a buttered 9 inch square pan. Cool and cut into whatever size you'd like. I like them to not be too big--maybe a one to two-bite piece. You can also roll them into thin little logs. Wrap in wax paper.
Split them up, package them however you'd like, and give your friends and family a little treat for the holidays.
As you can see in the pictures below, I wrapped some of them like a classic candy w/ the little ends and some other like a little box present. The ones w/ the ends are a lot faster to do, I think.
A few phone photos to brag about my helpful husband:
These candies aren't as intimidating to make as I had thought. I want to try making chocolate caramels next time.