Our pumpkin candy dishes are a great conversation piece for guests. Fill them up this fall with your own homemade caramels! Your guests will be so delighted.
Gourd "pumpkin" candy dishes at Meadowbrooke Gourds
Here is a recipe from about.com for caramels that are soft, chewy and melt-in-your-mouth good!
Watch a helpful video about how to make these caramels!
To make these caramels, you will need:
2 cups of heavy cream
1/2 cup condensed milk
2 cups light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
2 cups granulated sugar
1 stick (or 4 oz) of softened butter, cut into pieces
Heat the Cream
Place a small saucepan over a burner set to very low heat, and add the heavy cream and the condensed milk. Basically you just want the cream to get warm so it doesn’t cause the hot caramel to seize when you combine them later, so don’t get it hot enough to boil.
Combine Caramel Ingredients
In a large saucepan combine the water, corn syrup and granulated sugar over medium-high heat. Stir the candy until the sugar dissolves, then insert a candy thermometer and reduce the heat to medium. Take a wet pastry brush and wash down the sides of the pan to prevent sugar crystals from forming and making the candy grainy.
Allow the mixture to come to a boil and cook until the thermometer reads 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the softened butter chunks and the warm milk-cream mixture. You will notice that the temperature will go down substantially, about 30 degrees.
Continue to cook the caramel and stir frequently so that the bottom does not scorch. Cook it until the thermometer reads 244 degrees, and the caramel is a beautiful dark golden brown.
Set the Caramel
Once at 244, remove the caramel from the heat and immediately pour it into a 9×9-inch pan lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray. Allow the candy to set completely.
Cut the Caramel Into Pieces
When the caramel is set and ready to cut, lift the caramel from the pan and place it upside down on a cutting board. Peel the foil layer from the bottom of the caramel. Spray a large knife with nonstick cooking spray, and cut the caramels into small 1-inch bars. If the knife gets sticky, wipe it off and oil it again as often as necessary.
Wrap the Caramels
As you can see, these caramels are wonderfully soft and chewy. Because of their soft texture, they’ll gradually spread and lose their shape if you don’t wrap them after they’re cut.
I like to use squares of waxed paper to wrap my caramels, and the easiest way is just to twist the ends, like a Tootsie Roll. You could also use cling wrap, or dip them in chocolate instead.
These caramels have an amazing, melt-in-your-mouth texture and a lovely creamy, buttery flavor, and they keep for several weeks at room temperature, so you can enjoy them over and over again.
Read more: http://candy.about.com/od/caramelrecipes/r/soft_caramels.htm