a christmas tradition. first off, which way are you supposed to pronounce caramels? i always say 'carmels' and others say 'car-a-mels'. so...which is it? is it a regional thing?
I started making these caramels probably about 10 years ago. i still get nervous making them. they take a long, long time to make and what if they don't turn out right because of one thing...did i stir it as much as i should, did i pour in the cream mixture too fast, did i accidentally shake it?
this is a christmas tradition on my father-in-law's side. his mother would make MORE THAN ONE BATCH. i don't know how she does it. she makes, at least 2 batches: one with nuts and one without. when she passed away, i decided to try make them for christmas. sometimes the task seems daunting when i don't think i have the time, but almost every christmas i make them. i use martha stewart's recipe for golden caramels (btw, this recipe was published in 1995/96 issue of her living magazine, so...i guess that is how long i have been making them. that makes it 15 years - and i still have the page from the magazine). i don't deviate from the recipe at all...too scared.
grandma nancy's recipe is basically the same. only difference she has in her recipe is: "be sure to go to the bathroom before starting this recipe." and she is right. it takes FOREVER for the candy thermometer to go up those last few degrees.
i love how smooth the surface is. i am so very tempted to touch it. it is in the utility room because it is supposed to be not disturbed for 24 hours and since i am having a birthday party at my house for my mom, i didn't want it in the kitchen. even so, i am nervous. what happens if it gets disturbed?
and look how tempting it is. it's taunting me. it wants to be disturbed so it can laugh at me later when it doesn't do what is supposed to do during its 24 hour rest.
p s...see the squares of wax paper on the side? if you do decide to make these caramels, it is so easy to cut these up, using a paper cutter. i use the fiskars roller blade kind that is big enough to cut the wax paper. it looks all anal and stuff, but it really is easier. and, i cut several sheets at one time since wax paper is soooooo much thinner than cardstock.