Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Fudge Caramels

Well, we are on to the wonderful Christmas stretch.  I took a long Thanksgiving break.  Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! 
I have wanted to make Fudge Caramels for quite some time.  On occasion I have made other caramels, licorice and normal, but have never made chocolate caramels. They are a fun treat to make for the holidays.  they are soft and full of chocolate flavor, made with ingredients you have in your kitchen.  Yes, made with good old Hershey's cocoa powder!  The recipe is from a Hershey's Chocolate Treasury Cookbook.

 Fudge Caramels Recipe
2 cups sugar
2/3 cups unsweetened cocoa
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Butter a nine-inch square glass pan; set aside.  combine sugar, cocoa, salt, and corn syrup in a heavy 3-quart saucepan.  Then add evaporated milk and water.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils.  Cook, stirring frequently, to 245 degrees (or firm-ball stage) or until syrup, when dropped into very cold water, forms a firm ball that does not flatten when removed from water.  Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla, blending well.
Pour into prepared pan.  Cool; cut into 1-inch squares with butter scissors or pull into pieces.  Wrap individually in waxed paper or cellophane wrappers. 
Candy Making Tips
 Always adjust your thermometer.  For example, I live at 5700 foot altitude.  Mixtures boil at a lower temperature at this altitude, which means that if I don't adjust the temperature, my candy might cook too long and come out hard.  Find out what temperature water boils at with your thermometer, and adjust accordingly.  Always use a  heavy saucepan.  While stirring, use a wet pastry brush or clean, wet dishcloth to wash down the sides of the pan to dissolve any sugar crystals.  Also when you pour the caramel mixture into the buttered glass dish, do NOT scrape the pan.  If you do scrape the pan, this could also cause the mixture to sugar. If you are making more than one batch, make sure that your pan and spoon are clean of sugar crystals. 
You can wrap these in waxed paper, for an old-fashioned look, but I always wrap mine in the clear cellophane wrappers.

Last night I had a discussion with my children how we can bring Christ more into our Christmas celebration.  They had some good ideas.  My idea is, and has been for awhile, is to make candy at Christmas for those I love.  I seldom make candy at any other time than Christmas, and I do make it with love and package it prettily. 
What candy are you making this Christmas?  I seldom make candy during the rest of the year, but Christmas really brings out my desire to make candy.
I make Grandma Utahna's English Toffee.  Sometimes I have made up to 24 batches.  It is the vintage recipe of my husband's Grandmother; she was named after her home state of Utah.  A no-thermometer recipe that is sure to please!
I also make Almond Rum Balls.  This is a much requested treat in our home; we obtained from my sister Jacqueline.
Sometimes I make peanut brittle.  This is a spiced up version of normal peanut brittle.  I have made this at Halloween too, thus the Halloween background.
Growing up my mother used to make the best Black Walnut Divinity.  It also seemed like we used to make endless batches of cream cheese mints. 
I would love to hear what you are making.

Thanks for dropping by the Couch! 


Leslie said...

Your chocolate caramels look divine! You certainly know your way around making Christmas candies! They can be tricky, but yours look perfect.
Merry Christmas!

Lynn said...

Your caramels look great Joni! I've already made one batch of your Grandma's Toffee and another has been requested:@)

Sue said...

There is nothing better than homemade caramels, except maybe chocolate ones! Those would be dangerous for me to have around! I am really trying to make very few things this year. My daughter and I decided that we tend to eat lots more sweets when I make our traditional things. So, while we aren't giving up sweets over the holidays, for the most part we are going to have dessert in the restaurant or stop for frozen yogurt. I did make some praline pecans that are so good-recipe coming in a few days. I will probably make a couple of cookies for my dad and husband to share and I made party mix, but I am really cutting back. It is hard to do, I love Christmas baking!

Oh, the tree topper is easy to do. Promise!

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

Oh Joni, the fudge caramels look wonderful. I have made regular caramels, but never the fudge ones. I really must try your Grandma Utahna's toffee. Thanks for sharing all the candy inspiration. xo

Marigene said...

Yummy to everything! Makes me want to get out in the kitchen and make candy...

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

Wow, all of these treats look amazing. I like to make peanut butter balls, lemon squares, rocky road fudge. I need to get going on this......

Jacqueline said...

These look wonderful! I haven't made those either and anything with chocolate added to caramel would be delish.
We always make Divinity for a friend and we are dipping this Friday if you want to come up. We will be dipping from 11am until we collapse. This year I am requiring people to bring centers. I just can't do it all by myself. Vicki flew in from Seattle just for this.

Cathy said...

I would like to try every one of these recipes, Joni. Christmas is the one time of year I make candy and I think I'll splurge and make some English Toffee...and maybe some rum balls.