I don’t think Christmas could happen without caramels. Well, at least not at my farm! I don’t mean a caramel sauce or a hard caramel candy, but instead those soft, chewy, melt-in-your-mouth caramels; the ones I really think you can only truly understand if they’re homemade. Growing up, I seemed to always know who made the “good” caramels and I knew someday that I had to make them as well. As with many homemade candies, I think people are scared of caramels. But honestly, a thermometer makes the work easy and pretty much stress-free! Soon you can be “the one” with the good caramels!
This recipe makes one 9×13 pan, but I also explain how to variate the recipe to make unique caramels!
Watch how to make these Christmas caramels:
Homemade Christmas Caramels
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 ¼ cups light corn syrup
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Grease a 9×13 baking sheet pan well with vegetable oil. Line pan with parchment paper and grease paper as well. Set aside.
- In a 4-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring cream, sugar, butter, and corn syrup to a boil. Continue to boil until 248°F is reached on a candy or thermometer. Swirl pan every so often to evenly heat.
- When the temperature reaches 248°F, remove from heat and stir in salt and vanilla. Immediately pour into prepared pan.
- Cool 6-8 hours or up to 24 hours to allow caramel to set up.
- Use parchment sling to remove caramels from pan. Remove caramels from parchment and cut with a large sharp knife. The caramels are slightly sticky, so to keep the shape and keep from sticking to each other, individually wrap in parchment papers or wax paper.
For turtle caramels
- Sprinkle 1 cup toasted and chopped pecans over hot caramel. Let cool. Drizzle over ½ cup melted semi-sweet chocolate. Let chocolate cool before cutting.
For salted caramels
- Let caramels cool 30 minutes then sprinkle 3-4 tablespoons flaky sea salt over caramels. Finish cooling and cut.