I am all about the homemade gifts. I love the thought behind them, the time and love put into them and the practicality of making a gift you know someone is going to love. Over the years, I have made a lot of different homemade things, and because I have a lot of people to give to (friends, family and clients!) I like to keep things pretty cost effective. These little homemade salted caramels are not only a hit, but inexpensive and absolutely delicious! And they will only take up about 20 minutes of your time to make them! Meaning, even if you forgot to get gifts for someone on your list, you could whip these up in the morning and have them delivered that afternoon!
I originally saw a similar recipe on How Does She, but decided to update the recipe a bit with a hint of sea salt and some vanilla to really enhance the flavor, because who doesn’t love Salted Caramels?! I love the simplicity of the waxed paper, it makes it look homemade and classic – plus it’s cheap and something you might already have on hand (or should if you already don’t!)
The original recipe calls for using a microwave for 13 minutes, but I found that my microwave didn’t get the caramel hot enough and I had to microwave them for a little longer. If you plan to make them on the stove, you need to use a candy thermometer and bring the mixture up to firm ball stage, or about 275*. In the microwave it’s a bit difficult to gauge those temperatures, so your results won’t always be consistent. Fiddle around with timing and do whatever works best for you.
- 1 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup corn syrup
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp large flake Sea Salt – like Maldon, plus more for garnish
In a large microwave safe bowl, stir together butter, sugars and corn syrup until incorporated. Add the milk, stir and and microwave for 13-18 minutes (depending on you powerful your microwave is – I need 18 minutes but mine is sorta old…) The mixture should bubble quite a bit, and turn a caramel brown color. Scrape down all the sugary bits on the edges, add salt and vanilla and stir until smooth. Pour onto a jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the top of your caramel with additional sea salt as garnish. Let cool, cut into small pieces and wrap in waxed paper.
Stove Top Method:
In a heavy medium sized sauce pan, melt the butter, sugars and corn syrup over medium high heat. Add the sweetened condensed milk and bring to a boil. Continue boiling the caramel mixture until it is a light amber color, and a candy thermometer reaches 275*, or firm ball stage. Add salt and vanilla and stir until smooth. Pour into a prepared jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper. Sprinkled additional sea salt on top for garnish. Let cool, cut into small pieces and wrap in waxed paper.
These caramels are so easy, so addictive and a great introduction into candy making. You will love these so much, you will NEVER buy store bought caramels ever again. This recipe is also great for dipping apples in, between cake layers, or even for dipping shortbread into to make some amazing cookies.
Toss these into some cute mason jars, or even some kraft boxes and hand them out as gifts this holiday season! No one can resist these! I promise!