Brown Sugar Caramels-Guest Post with That Skinny Chick Can Bake!!

by cakeduchess on December 10, 2012 · 37 comments

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December is a month of frenzied planning and parties. If you love to bake like I do, I’m sure you’ve been busy these days making sweet treats. I thought it would be fun this December to feature some of my very talented baking friends.

One of the blogs that I was lucky enough to come across when I first started over two years ago was:  That Skinny Chick Can Bake! I’m sure you may already know Lizzy. She is one of the most dedicated bloggers I know. Lizzy keeps her blog full of countless delicious desserts. Just yesterday she posted these lovely Rosettes.I love yeasted breads…how about Lizzy’s superb Orange Rolls? Wow! If you are looking for a great homemade gift idea, go see her Homemade Kahlua.  Lizzy is always there with her sweet comments and showing support to everyone. I’m excited to feature her here today.

If you are on Google +, we have exciting news to share! I formed a new baking community: Google + Baking Community.  Lizzy and Anuradha from Baker Street are moderating the group with me. You know that it will be full of fabulous baking talk-come join the fun!

Lora was one of my first blogger friends. Her mom, Lizzie, of Food and Thrift, immediately reached out to me when I joined Foodbuzz over two years ago. Just as warm as her mother, Lora became a friend and a blogger who I admired and emulated. A baker like me, she always dazzles me with her cakes, pastries and breads. When she approached me about doing a holiday guest post, I was delighted. I make caramels only at Christmas, so I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes with you all.

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I’ve been in love with caramels since my first taste as a child. Whenever a gift of mixed chocolates made its way into our home, I’d elbow my little sisters out of the way, and zero in on the square shaped caramels. And it turns out, this fondness for caramels runs in the family. Last year, my uncle sent me an old, splattered candy cookbook that used to belong to my grandfather. Besides yellowed recipe clippings nestled between the pages, there were hand written notes about altitude adjustment next to the caramel and praline recipes…in both my grandfather and my Aunt Martha’s handwriting. Who knew that North Dakota and Michigan had to worry about such things? Written in 1952, there were outdated instructions like, “Remove from the fire and pour on an oiled slab between oiled bars.” Huh? It was my intention to use this recipe for caramels as a tribute to my mom’s side of the family, but terms like “slack back” had me a wee bit nervous…as the candy making process can be a bit finicky. So I decided against those in favor of one of my tried and true recipes. I’ve shared another caramel recipe on my blog, but this one has brown sugar as well as white sugar…giving an extra boost of caramel flavor.
Part of this batch will go to Nick, my youngest…a huge caramel fan. As a toddler, he used to accompany me on my weekly trips to the butcher shop…the owner would hand him a slice of ham to sample while she packaged my meat, and then Nick would pick a favorite candy from their glass jar full of confections on our way out the door. Inevitably, he would dig deep to find his favorite caramel candy. So, some of these caramels will go into the holiday goodie boxes for the neighbors, and the rest will be mailed to Nick along with some chocolate chip chip cookies…I think he’ll need a little cheering up as he studies for his first college finals this week.

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Brown Sugar Caramels

Ingredients:
  
2 cups sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup half and half
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions: 
Line 8 x 8 inch pan with non-stick foil. Set aside.

In a large, heavy saucepan, combine sugars, corn syrup, half and half, cream and butter. Cook over medium low heat, stirring, till candy thermometer reaches 250º. This may take up to an hour. At 250º remove pan from heat and add vanilla.

Pour into prepared pan and let cool completely. Cut into small squares and wrap in waxed paper.

Makes approximately 60.

Tips for making caramels:

  • Use a good, accurate candy thermometer…if your caramels don’t come to temperature, they will be too soft. If the mixture gets too hot, your caramels will be hard to chew.
  • Using corn syrup prevents the sugar from recrystallizing and becoming grainy…you don’t want to leave it out.
  • A rapid increase or decrease in temperature while cooking will cause the butter to separate from the caramel as it cools. Keep your flame/burner temperature steady. Be patient.
  • I use a rubber spatula that can take the heat without melting to stir almost continuously. Some recipes don’t require this constant stirring, so follow the directions on your specific recipe.

Thanks, Lora, for inviting me to share a favorite holiday recipe with you and your followers. Wishing you all a very delicious and Merry Christmas!!! xo

Thank you for the story and these delicious Brown Sugar Caramels, Lizzy. Here’s how to see more of Lizzy and That Skinny Chick Can Bake!!! : Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest.
Happy Monday to all of you!
xo

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Stumptown Savoury December 10, 2012 at 11:44 am

Hmm, everything into one pan. That’s certainly easier than the recipes I’ve used that require two pans and two or even three cooking stages. I think I’ll give this a try. They certainly look delicious and chewy. Thanks!

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The Mom Chef December 10, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Ok, lucky Nick and poor Nick, all at the same time! I’ll keep my fingers crossed that he’s able to study well and do exceptionally at his finals. I’m sure you can’t wait for him to get home for Christmas. It’ll be like one of those Folgers commercials.

It’s fun to see two of the most awesome bakers together in the same blog and in my book, the caramels are the perfect dessert. Not a drop of chocolate in sight! I love it.

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Terra December 10, 2012 at 12:36 pm

I am so excited to read your recipe for the caramels! I just finally made caramels for the first time yesterday, and loved making them:-) I am a brown sugar freak, so I love love the idea of adding brown sugar to the delicious treat:-) They look fantastic! Hugs, Terra

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Jamie December 10, 2012 at 12:37 pm

I have always wanted to make these. I love caramels. Liz is so talented and her baking always inspires. I have been so enjoying her Christmas series! And now these! Great recipe, thanks for sharing!

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Paula @ Vintage Kitchen December 10, 2012 at 12:58 pm

These caramels are just amazing, brown sugar caramel, it doesn´t get much better! It´s so great to find the wonderful Liz here in your wonderful blog Lora. I love you girls, hope to meet you one day..

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Lizzy Do December 10, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Thanks SO much for inviting me, Lora…and for the sweet introduction!

Stumptown Savory, yeah, more than one pan to clean is a drag!
Mom Chef, yes, I can’t wait to get him home!!!
Terra, aren’t homemade caramels wonderful?
Jamie, you’re so sweet…thank you!!!

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Savory Simple December 10, 2012 at 1:11 pm

I love Liz’s recipes! And I met her at Mixed last weekend & am so happy we had a chance to enjoy breakfast together on the last day. These caramels look divine.

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Paula December 10, 2012 at 2:41 pm

These look delicious. Your son is going to love getting his care package. (Good luck to him on his exams!) Thanks for sharing the recipe and all the cooking tips. I just may try to make these!

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Kristina @ spabettie December 10, 2012 at 3:11 pm

how fun it must be to read old recipes like that… knowing me I might try to figure it out. ;)

caramels have always been my favorite, also – these sound perfect!

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Kate@Diethood December 10, 2012 at 3:32 pm

I love homemade caramels, Lizzy! These are beautiful!

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Patty December 10, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Congratulations on your lovely trust post!!!! The homemade caramels look just luscious Lizzy-thanks for sharing your recipe;-)

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Holly @ abakershouse.com December 10, 2012 at 4:48 pm

I love making homemade caramels and last year was lucky enough to share the experience with a friend whose mother was ill but who wanted to pass the recipe to her daughter. I think it’s time I make them again; it’s a reminder to me to appreciate every day as a gift.

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Valerie December 10, 2012 at 7:00 pm

I Love caramel! These homemade versions look too irresistible…I don’t think I would want to share. ;)

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Laura (Tutti Dolci) December 10, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Did you say brown sugar caramels?! In love, I can only imagine how wonderful these must taste!

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Donna December 10, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Gorgeous gifting guaranteed!!…Do you think a sprinkling of fleur de sel or small flaked salt “Salted Caramel” riff is possible here?..My husband loves his “Caramels Salés”..from the Brittany region of France…Also, in Europe could one sub Lyle’s Golden Syrup…or even Vermont or Canadian Maple Syrup for the light corn syrup?…Coconut Palm Nectar?..Thanks for this post..just in time for the holidays!

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claudia lamascolo December 10, 2012 at 11:23 pm

Perfect color and rich creamy candies looks amazingly delicious!

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mjskit December 11, 2012 at 3:21 am

These are perfect caramels!! What a great gift idea, if I don’t eat them all first.

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Swathi Iyer December 11, 2012 at 3:23 am

Delicious homemade caramels, excellent gift, Lizzy is wonderful baker.

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Brooks December 11, 2012 at 4:06 am

Lora, You’re a terrific hostess and together with today’s guest, I feel as though I won the Powerball jackpot! Liz, it’s posts like this that leave me feeling inspired to make some of these lush caramels for my family & friends. Only thing is, I can’t be certain any of them would actually see wax paper wrappers!

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Lisa {Authentic Suburban Gourmet } December 11, 2012 at 5:02 am

You had me at brown sugar and caramel! These are a WINNER and a must make. Pinning immediately!!!

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Phong Hong December 11, 2012 at 8:30 am

These are so yummy! Perfect gifts for Christmas.

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Lizzy Do December 11, 2012 at 11:03 am

THANKS for all the WONDERFUL comments! You’ve made my day!!! xo

Donna, a sprinkling of sea salt would be wonderful! As far a substitute for corn syrup, Lyle’s Golden syrup is your best bet. Maple syrup could make the caramels rock hard. Hope you give these a try!!!

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Brian @ A Thought For Food December 11, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Now THOSE look tasty. What a wonderful treat to make for the holidays. Great as gifts… or just as after dinner nibbles.

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Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom December 12, 2012 at 1:32 am

This is awesome!! and I LOVE all of the tips!! I totally needed to know those things! I echo what everyone has said here. . great as gifts! Love this!

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Marina@Picnic at Marina December 12, 2012 at 4:30 am

Delightful treat!

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Tandy December 12, 2012 at 8:39 am

I wish my screen would let me dive in and taste them! They really look good :)

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Lisa December 12, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Awesome guest post, Lizzy! Lor sure knows how to pick ‘em :) LOVE homemade caramels..I could easily eat every single one in the photos! The brown sugar gives them a nice, molasses twist!

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Elisabeth December 12, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Lora, and Lizzy- such a great duo! Love you both:)…and love, love the delicious and beautiful Brown Sugar Caramels, Lizzy!
They look so professional…but then again; you are a ‘pro’ when it comes to making fabulous cakes, cookies, and desserts. It does not surprise me at all to see more and more of your amazing stuff! Thanks for the mention about me, as well! xoxo

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Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts December 12, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Lizzy is the master of sweet treats – these caramels are no exception. They look and sound incredible!

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Mari December 13, 2012 at 3:55 am

Hi Lora, thanks Lizzy for this recipe. The caramels look perfect and delicious! I must try it. Thank you Lora for sharing it.

Have a wonderful weekend :)

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Jessica @ Portuguese Girl Cooks December 13, 2012 at 5:04 am

Lora, and Lizzy, these caramels looks amazing! Definitely adding to my list this year!

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Magic of Spice December 14, 2012 at 1:22 am

Oh wow Lizzy, these look amazing! They could have come from the finest of sweets shops!

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Lorraine Joy Alegria-Vizcarra December 14, 2012 at 6:17 am

The caramel looks lovely.

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The Café Sucré Farine December 14, 2012 at 6:03 pm

These look fantastic! We love caramels too and I’m afraid these wouldn’t last long around our house!

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Helene Dsouza December 15, 2012 at 10:41 am

nice to see Liz here Lora!
Liz you disturbed my inner peace with your home made caramels. I couldn’t stop staring at them in google+. By the way Lora thank you for starting up the baking community. It’s an honor to be part and I am looking forward to the new google+ experience together with you all.

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Marg Caputo December 16, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Do you think I can substitute maple syrup for the corn syrup?

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Liz December 17, 2014 at 10:46 am

Hi, Marg! I think it could work. Maple syrup is sweeter than corn syrup so the results won’t be exactly the same. Please report back if you give it a try.

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