Step by step instructions for a no-fail, best homemade caramels of your life! Soft, chewy you wont be able to stop eating caramels.
Combine all ingredients in heavy pan.
Cook on medium heat and stir constantly. (CONSTANTLY) until it reaches 244 degrees
Take off stove and if desired add the oil and food coloring
For Licorice Caramel: 1 tsp anise oil or licorice oil and black food coloring
For Cinnamon Caramel: cinnamon oil and red food coloring (but make sure it has no taste)
Pour into a 9x13 pan lined with parchment paper. Cool completely before cutting
Make sure you stir caramels with either a wooden spoon or a spatula that can stand hit temps (silicone).
Try not to splash on the sides when you are stirring. DON'T SCRAPE the sides back into the caramel. Scrape only the bottom of the pan. If you bring the sugar crystals from the sides of the pan back into your candy it will 'sugar' and become crunchy and hardened in areas instead of smooth when it is all done.
Put your candy thermometer into the candy after it has boiled for a bit and started to change colors don't drag it around because scraping the metal to metal together can also sugar your candy. Once you put the thermometer in you have to keep it in until it is done, don't take it out and put it back in unless you clean it.
As an added measure double check your caramels by using the ice water method. Drop a bit of caramel in ice water, dump water out and test the texture of your caramel. If it doesn't form a soft ball the caramel needs to cook longer. If it is firm remove immediately from heat. If it is rock hard it is overcooked for the soft caramel method.
Keep the heat on a medium heat and if you start seeing little brown specks in your candy take it off the heat immediately and turn it down. That is the candy scorching. Otherwise cook until the candy has reached desired temperature or texture.
Caramels wrapped in wrappers and stored in an air tight container or zip-lock bag can stay fresh up to about 3 weeks. You just want to keep them protected from humidity and moisture. Store in pantry or even in your refrigerator!