Cooking Classics: Homemade Caramels

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The Technique

Homemade Caramels

The most straightforward & streamlined approach to making Homemade Caramels from scratch involves a duel target temperature procedure using one pot. It is necessary for the sugar to caramelize first before adding the dairy for rich, authentic flavor. Once this solution reaches 320 degrees, the dairy is added just as you would when preparing caramel sauce however it is done while the pot remains over the heat. The temperature will drop considerably & it’s just a matter of continually stirring the mixture until the second target temperature is met. Once that is achieved, the mixture is ready to be poured into the pan to set. It truly is a simple technique but the key is to have all of the components prepped before any cooking begins. Learn how to make a southern favorite that’s ideal for sharing with friends by following my detailed tutorial & be certain to look to The Essential Guide To Making Homemade Candy for additional pointers before getting started. 

Cooking Classics. Homemade Caramels By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials For Everyday Cooks Pastry Chef Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Food Stylist Writer Tv Cooking Personality Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern Socials How To Make Homemade Caramels

rebecca gordon buttermilk lipstick Southern Recipes & How To's Easy Tailgate Recipes RebeccaGordon ButtermilkLipstickHomemade Caramels
makes 64 pieces

It will take approximately 13 minutes once the initial sugar mixture comes to a boil until it is ready to be removed from the heat at the firm ball stage. I prefer to pull the mixture from the heat a degree or two just below the “firm ball” reading on the thermometer. Once cool, the caramels will make crisp cuts with a firm yet chewy texture. Wrap individually in squares cut from wax paper so they hold their shape.  

1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup butter, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water

Cut 2 pieces of parchment paper that extend over the sides of an 8-inch baking pan 2-inches. Lightly coat the pan with cooking spray. Place the parchment paper in the pan & lightly coat it with cooking spray. Set aside. Combine the cream & the butter in a glass measuring cup or a small bowl. Microwave on High power for 30 seconds. Microwave the mixture again for 30 seconds & stir to incorporate the melted butter. Microwave again for two 15 second intervals until all of the butter has completely melted. Stir in the salt. Transfer the mixture to a measuring cup with a spout, if applicable. Set aside.

Combine the sugar, the corn syrup & the water in a heavy 3 1/2-quart saucepan. Cook over a heat setting that is set just slightly above the Medium. Stir until the mixture is combined & it just begins to come to a boil. Place a lid over the pot for 1 minute then remove it. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot & cook until it reaches 320 degrees. Around the 280 to 290 degree range, one side of the pot will begin to turn the color of honey & will deepen to a golden amber color by the time it reaches 320 degrees. 

Carefully & slowly pour the cream mixture into the caramelized sugar while simultaneously stirring with a long handled wooden spoon. The mixture will bubble vigorously & a lot of steam will escape. Once all of the mixture has been incorporated, turn the heat down to Medium & stir constantly all around the pot. The temperature will drop to about 220 degrees. Cook the mixture until it reaches 240 to 245 degrees, firm ball stage. Turn off the heat & remove the thermometer. Stir the mixture well & pour it into the prepared pan. Do not scrape the bottom of the pot if any of the mixture begins to set. The pan the candy was poured into will be extremely hot. Let stand at room temperature. Cool completely, about 8 hours. Cut the caramels into 64 rectangles & wrap each piece in wax paper. Store at room temperature up to 1 week.

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Cooking Classics. Homemade Caramels By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials For Everyday Cooks Pastry Chef Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Food Stylist Writer Tv Cooking Personality Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern Socials How To Make Homemade CaramelsHow To Make Homemade Caramels

Nothing quite compares to the taste of an authentic Homemade Caramel whereas cream & butter are basically suspended in caramelized sugar. The first target temperature during the cooking process will provide the rich flavor for which caramels are known. The second target temperature will deliver the desired texture.

Baking Tutorials. Old-Fashioned Caramel Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Baking & Cooking Tutorials Practical Culinary Techniques For Everyday Cooks Editorial Director Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist TV Cooking Personality Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern Socials rebecca gordon buttermilk lipstick Southern Recipes & How To's Easy Tailgate Recipes RebeccaGordon ButtermilkLipstickThe Technique

When preparing candy, never use a smaller pot than what is called for in the recipe. The ingredients often times will double or triple from their original volume as they begin to cook. A few key pieces of equipment will be needed in order to complete the task. Read through the recipe instructions before beginning. Here’s what you should know.

Cooking Classics. Homemade Caramels By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials For Everyday Cooks Pastry Chef Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Food Stylist Writer Tv Cooking Personality Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern Socials How To Make Homemade CaramelsNo. 1

The Cream & The Butter

It’s important that the butter is melted before adding it to the caramelized sugar simply for a streamlined approach since these ingredients are added while the pot remains over the heat. Use a measuring cup with a spout to make this process safe & less cumbersome.

Cut 2 pieces of parchment paper that extend over the sides of an 8-inch baking pan 2-inches. Lightly coat the pan with cooking spray. Place the parchment paper in the pan & lightly coat it with cooking spray. Set aside. Combine the cream & the butter in a glass measuring cup or a small bowl. Microwave on High power for 30 seconds. Microwave the mixture again for 30 seconds & stir to incorporate the melted butter. Microwave again for two 15 second intervals until all of the butter has completely melted. Stir in the salt. Transfer the mixture to a measuring cup with a spout, if applicable. Set aside.

Cooking Classics. Homemade Caramels By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials For Everyday Cooks Pastry Chef Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Food Stylist Writer Tv Cooking Personality Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern Socials How To Make Homemade CaramelsNo. 2

The Sugar

If you stir the mixture carefully from the beginning & be certain stray sugar granules do not make their way up the sides of the pot, the mixture will not crystalize during the cooking process. 

Combine the sugar, the corn syrup & the water in a heavy 3 1/2-quart saucepan. Cook over a heat setting that is set just slightly above the Medium. Stir until the mixture is combined & it just begins to come to a boil. Place a lid over the pot for 1 minute then remove it. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot & cook until it reaches 320 degrees. Around the 280 to 290 degree range, one side of the pot will begin to turn the color of honey & will deepen to a golden amber color by the time it reaches 320 degrees. 

Cooking Classics. Homemade Caramels By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials For Everyday Cooks Pastry Chef Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Food Stylist Writer Tv Cooking Personality Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern Socials How To Make Homemade CaramelsNo. 3

The Caramel Mixture 

During this cooking stage, you will need to begin stirring constantly until the second temperature is achieved.

Carefully & slowly pour the cream mixture into the caramelized sugar while simultaneously stirring with a long handled wooden spoon. The mixture will bubble vigorously & a lot of steam will escape. Once all of the mixture has been incorporated, turn the heat down to Medium & stir constantly all around the pot. The temperature will drop to about 220 degrees. Cook the mixture until it reaches 240 to 245 degrees, firm ball stage. Turn off the heat & remove the thermometer. Stir the mixture well. 

Cooking Classics. Homemade Caramels By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials For Everyday Cooks Pastry Chef Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Food Stylist Writer Tv Cooking Personality Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern Socials How To Make Homemade CaramelsNo. 4

The Pan

The purpose of the parchment paper is to make it easy to remove the caramels from the pan to cut. Use a little tape to secure the overhang to the side of the pan so that the parchment paper holds a snug fit when the caramel mixture is ready to be poured.

Pour the caramel mixture into the prepared pan. Do not scrape the bottom of the pot if any of the mixture begins to set. The pan the candy was poured into will be extremely hot. Let stand at room temperature. Cool completely, about 8 hours. 

Cooking Classics. Homemade Caramels By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials For Everyday Cooks Pastry Chef Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Food Stylist Writer Tv Cooking Personality Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern Socials How To Make Homemade CaramelsNo. 5

The Homemade Caramels

Cut the caramels into 64 rectangles & wrap each piece in wax paper. Store at room temperature up to 1 week. Wrapping each candy in wax paper will hold the shape beautifully. Do not overlook this step. 

Cooking Classics. Homemade Caramels By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials For Everyday Cooks Pastry Chef Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Food Stylist Writer Tv Cooking Personality Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern Socials How To Make Homemade CaramelsNo. 6


The Clean Up

Candy making is sticky business. Fill the saucepan with water & place it back on the stove eye. Submerge any utensils used & bring the water to a boil. Any remaining sugar syrup will disintegrate during the process.

The Tune
“I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl” Nina Simone 

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* Southern Born * Southern Bred * Tailgate Queen * Southern College Football Fanatic * SEC Tailgate Strategist * Southern Recipe Writer & Sometimes Novelist * Half-Hour Hostess * Media Personality * Houndstooth Hound Owner * Small Town Dreamer * Big Idea Doer * 3rd Generation Pimiento Cheese Fixer * Casserole Maker * Budweiser Drinker * Bourbon Cocktail Sipper * Peanut Butter Love Affair * Cookie Monster * Calorie Burner * Retainer of Useless Pop Culture One Liners * Terrible Dancer * Even Worse Singer but doesn't care * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Rebecca Gordon shares over 20 years of cooking knowledge in the instructional filled original editorial content on Buttermilk Lipstick as well as the cooking class format videos that can be found on her YouTube channel through regular collaboration with numerous media outlets. Gordon draws from an extensive background in corporate publishing spanning over 13 years on both the business and editorial side focusing on women’s southern lifestyle. She is a classically trained pastry chef and draws from fine dining restaurant experience from a James Beard award winning chef as well as her southern roots upbringing to share cooking, entertaining & style content relevant to today’s modern woman.

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