This Christmas Eve we wrap up our sweet series on holiday treats with a previous Heartland Cook. This holiday season, Cheryl Reinagel of Kelso, MO and several of her friends got together to make batch after batch of caramels for a cause. The group sold the caramels to raise money to pay for mammograms for women who can't afford them. Through the month of December, the ladies group sold more than 2,000 caramels and raised $1200 to help women detect breast cancer earlier.
- 1 lb. (4 sticks) butter
- 2 cups evaporated milk
- 1 quart heavy whipping cream
- 4 cups sugar
- 2 cups brown sugar (packed)
- 2 cups Karo syrup
- 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
Before you start, generously grease an 18 x 26 inch cookie sheet (or 11 x 13 inch pan if making half a batch) with butter.
In a large-sized, thick bottomed pot, combine sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, evaporated milk, whipping cream, and butter (do not add vanilla yet).
Cook over medium heat. When mixture begins to boil, insert candy thermometer. Stir continuously as the mixture thickens, to avoid scorching.
When the candy thermometer reads exactly 247 degrees remove the pot from the heat.
Stir in vanilla. You'll hear a sizzle as the vanilla combines with the caramel.
Pour liquid caramel onto the prepared buttered cookie sheet. Allow the mixture cool 8 hours before cutting.
Cut the caramel in desired size and wrap in wax paper for storage.
Cheryl's tip: if your caramel sticks to the sides or bottom of the pan, do not scrape back into liquid caramel. If it has started to scorch, you can ruin your batch of caramel by adding burned caramel. Just continue to cook until you reach 247 degrees and pour liquid into pan without scraping.