I usually double the recipe, but I don’t recommend doing that unless you are familiar with candy making. When I double the recipe it takes twice as long to get the candy to the right temperature. I think the last batch I doubled it took us 40 minutes or so to get the caramel the right temperature.
You can use either dark or light brown sugar. For this batch I used dark brown.
I’ve included a lot of tips and tricks to help you make this recipe so make sure to read through the recipe!
Salted Caramel Chews
- 4 quart sauce pan
- Wooden spoon
- Candy thermometer
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 2 ¼ cups brown sugar, firmly packed dark or light brown sugar will work
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1 cup light corn syrup I use Karo
- 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Prepare the caramel mold. Line an 8×8 or 9×9 -inch baking dish with parchment paper so that excess paper hangs over the edges. Coat the parchment and the sides of the baking dish with cooking spray. If you don't have parchment paper you can also use tin foil.
- Melt the butter. Place the butter and salt in a 3 or 4 quart saucepan and heat over medium heat until the butter melts.
- Combine the remaining ingredients. Add the remaining ingredients to the saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon.
- Stir constantly until temperature ready 245°F to 250°F. It will start off as a soft buttery yellow and eventually darken to reddish-brown caramel. Remove from the heat when the caramel reaches 245°F to 250°F (firm ball stage). Use a candy thermometer to check the temperature.
- Remove from the heat when the caramel reaches 245°F to 250°F (firm ball stage).
- Pour the caramels into the mold/baking dish. Immediately pour the caramels into the mold. Do not scrape the pan (there are sometimes hard burnt bits on the bottom).
- Sprinkle Caramel with Coarse Sea Salt. Optional. Sprinkle the finished caramels with coarse sea salt.
- Let the caramels set. Set the caramels somewhere out of the way to set, for at least 2 hours or (ideally) overnight. Once the caramels have cooled to room temperature, you can cover the pan.
- Cut the caramels. When the caramels have set, lift them out of the pan by the parchment paper flaps and onto a cutting board. Cut the caramels into candies with a very sharp knife. If the caramels stick to your knife, spray your knife with cooking spray.
- Wrap the caramels in wax paper. Cut squares of wax paper a little longer than your caramels. Wrap each caramel in wax paper and twist the ends closed
The Cold Water Test for CaramelsYou can also use a cup of cold water to double-check the consistency of your caramels! I highly recommend using a thermometer AND the cold water test to be sure your caramels turn out right. To do the cold water test, simply fill a small cup with cold water then drizzle a little of the caramel into the cup. You should be able to use your fingers to form it into a stable ball, but it will still be soft and easy to smoosh.
Firm Ball Stage245° F–250° F
sugar concentration: 87% Drop a little of this syrup in cold water and it will form a firm ball, one that won’t flatten when you take it out of the water, but remains malleable and will flatten when squeezed. Caramels are cooked to the firm-ball stage
Candy Temperature Chart
|Thread||223-235 F||The syrup drips from a spoon and forms thin threads in water.||Glacé and candied fruits|
|Soft ball||235-245 F||The syrup easily forms a ball while in the cold water but flattens once removed.||Fudge and fondant|
|Firm ball||245-250 F||The syrup is formed into a stable ball but loses its round shape once pressed.||Caramel candies|
|Hard ball||250-266 F||The syrup holds its ball shape when pressed but remains sticky.||Divinity and marshmallows|
|Soft crack||270-290 F||The syrup will form firm but pliable threads.||Nougat and taffy.|
|Hard crack||300-310 F||The syrup forms brittle threads and easily cracks and snaps.||Brittles and lollipops|
|Caramel||320-350 F||The sugar syrup will turn golden brown and have a fragrant caramel smell.||Caramel syrup, Pralines|