Quick Caramel

Everything is better when dipped in caramel, right?

For the CCPl Staff Development Day lunch I made my new favorite treat; marshmallows dipped in caramel and dark chocolate on a stick (because everything is better on a stick right? I already had the marshmallows and dark chocolate chips, but I thought homemade caramel would be a great choice.

My family has a secret recipe that almost always results in a great caramel and can be tweaked to provide soft and chewy or hard and lollipop like candies. Here’s how it works:

In a deep, thick pot with attached candy thermometer combine the following:

  • 1/2 lb butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 lb light brown sugar
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup Karo pancake syrup

Cook, stirring but not scraping the sides until candy is 225° F. When temperature is reached stir in:

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Pour from pan (being sure to not scrap sides) into desired dish.

Remember this recipe is super easy to change so that you get any sort of caramel you like. Try using dark brown sugar instead of light for a darker caramel. Cook to 228°F for caramels you can cut with a cookie cutter. Cook to 230°F for a darker, peanut brittle consistency.

To make our Staff Day treat lightly grease a cookie sheet, place marshmallows on it so they are not touching. Using thin pretzel sticks in place of sucker sticks impale marshmallows and dip them in caramel once you have removed it from the pot (into a bowl works best). Place in freezer to harden for 5 minutes and then dip into melted chocolate chips and then immediately dip just the bottom of your pop into sprinkles or jimmies (they help keep the chocolate from sticking to your serving dish).

If you enjoy this recipe try one of the following books:

Candy Making for Dummies by David Jones

Candy Making for Beginners by Evelyn Howe Fryatt

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