Way back when we were first married (1995), we had the sweetest neighbor who would make homemade caramels for us every year.
She even gave me a copy of her old Lutheran Cookbook from where the recipe came.
I LOVED the taste and gobbled them up like a glutton as soon as she gave them to me.
Well, she moved away and I had not tasted any good caramels since.
During Christmas my friend Margo's daughter, Jenny, came for a visit.
Jenny made up a batch of caramels and gave some to me as a gift. I popped on in my mouth and it was 1995 all over again.....but better!
She salted the outsides of these, giving them a more intense taste.
She was gracious enough to share the recipe with me and I was happy to find out that they are not nearly as intimidating to make as I thought.
1 Cup Butter
2 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 (14 ounce ) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
Fine Sea Salt
1. Melt Butter in large saucepan
2. Add sugar and salt
3.Blend in corn syrup and milk, stirring constantly
4.Cook and stir over medium heat until your candy thermometer reaches 245 degrees.
5.Remove from heat and add vanilla
6. Pour into a greased 9 x13 inch pan. ( Instead of greasing mine, I used parchment paper )
7. ( this is the best part ) Sprinkle Finely Ground Sea Salt all over the top of the caramel before it cools.
8. Once cooled, cut into small squares and wrap in wax paper.
One important thing to note, even though it seems like it will take forever, you must let the mixture reach the 245 degree mark. If it does not reach that temp, you will have mushy caramel sauce instead of firm but chewy caramels.
Also, after I cut mine into squares, I added a little more salt. Fabulous!