Homemade Caramels

Homemade caramels are a fabulous treat. When making crystalline candies like caramels, a sugar syrup is cooked until some of the liquid evaporates. As the mixture concentrates, it will form shapes in cold water. Caramels are cooked to hard ball stage, or 248°F. Use a candy thermometer, or drop a bit of the candy in cold water. If it forms a ball that is hard but not brittle, the candy is done.

Makes: 81 caramelsHands-on: 15 minutesTotal: 1 hour 15 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Makes: 81 caramels


  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract


  • Grease a 9" × 9" square pan with unsalted butter and set aside.
  • In large heavy saucepan, combine all ingredients except vanilla. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover and let boil for 2 minutes to let steam wash down sugar crystals on sides of pan. Uncover, reduce heat to medium, and cook until mixture reaches 248°F or the hard ball stage, about 15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add vanilla. Immediately pour into prepared pan and let stand about 1 hour. When firm, cut into small squares and wrap in waxed paper.