Despite the fact that I've made it several times, I still get antsy when it comes to making caramel. (And not because of the scars it left on a few fingers.) What scares me more than molten lava burns? Drama.
Caramel won't let you know that things are going downhill until the last minute when the smoke alarm, which had only served as a 'prop' for the past 3 years, suddenly goes off and you want to hit it with a baseball bat but know that opening a window takes priority over trying to find a replacement for a bat that you don't even own.
We've since made up, caramel and I. But it still induces lip-biting and hand wringing.
My candy thermometer only measure temperatures up to 200 F, after that, I'm playing blind. Luckily, this recipe is gentle, even for the most timid caramel makers. Once you can get past the initial sugar cooking, and butter enters the scene, it's a smooth sail to the finish line. If you are nervous about caramel, just cook it over a low heat. It will take a lot longer, but you will have more control over the situation (and you can watch the magical transformation unfold without stressing too much). It really is a beautiful process.
The caramels have sweet, soft kisses of vanilla and honey. And they're luxuriously soft and stretchy without any teeth-pulling stickiness. They make great little holiday treats too! Just wrap them up in cut-out wax paper and toss a few into your gift bags. Keep the scraps for yourself! You'll need the sugar-rush by the time you're finished wrestling with the 34th sheet of wax paper. :D
Recipe from Two Tarts.