If you can believe it I actually debated posting this recipe. The whole theme of this blog is about using home grown ingredients as much as possible... and this recipe, as I make it, uses exactly NO home grown ingredients.Thank goodness I came to my senses and remembered that I'm a rule breaker!One of the
1 cup of butter
1 pound of light brown sugar
1 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
a pinch of salt
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
a sprinkle of coarse salt
Heat butter, brown sugar, condensed milk, and pinch of salt in a large pot, stirring continuously. Caramel is done cooking when it reaches 260° on a candy thermometer. To know when caramel is ready without a thermometer drop a little bit of the cooking caramel off a spoon into cold water. It is ready when the caramel forms a firm ball in the water. (I found a nice description of candy cooking stages here.) Pour caramel into a buttered 9x13 inch pan and let cool slightly. Sprinkle a little bit of coarse salt on top (I use about a teaspoon). When caramel has cooled enough to handle pull it out of the pan and place it on a large chopping board. (Caramel is very malleable and will change shape as it is handled.) Cut caramel into fairly uniform sized pieces and wrap each piece tightly in squares of cellophane or wax paper. Simply twist the ends of the paper to finish the wrap.