Sunday, December 13, 2015

Chocolate Pecan Caramels

I finally started my Christmas baking on Saturday. The list is long, but it's tradition and I love traditions and baking for the holidays is just fun. I made these Chocolate Pecan Caramels that I found in a Taste of Home circa 1999. Gosh, that used to be such a great magazine! Now its new. And improved. And I don't care for it so I let my 25 year subscription expire, but many of our favorite recipes have been gleaned from its pages through the years. This is one of those recipes:

                                    

Chocolate Pecan Caramels

1 Tbsp plus 1 C butter (no substitutes), softened, divided
1 1/2 C coarsely chopped pecans
1 C (6 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
2 C packed brown sugar
1 C light corn syrup
1/4 C water
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla extract

*Line a 9x13" baking pan with foil; butter the foil with 1 Tbsp butter. Sprinkle with pecans and chocolate chips; set aside. In a heavy saucepan, over medium heat. melt remaining butter. Add brown sugar, corn syrup and water. Cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in milk and vanilla. Cook, stirring constantly, until a candy thermometer reads 248° (firm ball stage). Be patient. It'll take a while. :) Pour into prepared pan (do not scrape saucepan). Cool completely before cutting into small squares.

Do not go past 248°:...not even a smidge or your caramels will turn to rocks. And I don't refrigerate mine - we like them at room temperature so they stay a little softer.

Monday is the last cattle sale of the year and all the girls bring goodies and set things out for the buyers. I'm taking queso and chips and probably these although I'll keep some back for us. :)

Fair warning: these are really caramel-ly. In other words, be prepared for your teeth to stick together and you may or may not look like a puppy eating peanut butter, but some things are just worth it. :)

15 comments:

Dorian said...

MMMM, I love caramels, this looks so yummy. Thanks for sharing! :) Isn't it sad when your favorite magazine gets 'new and improved'. Sigh~ I won third place in one of their food contests once :) Have you tried Cooks Country magazine? It's a pretty good one too.

Carol said...

Okay, my mouth is watering at the sight of that caramely goodness! Being Texans, we love all things pecan and adding chocolate and caramel just ups the status of this recipe. Will definitely add this to my list. I
will start making some things today. Hope to read more about your family's favorites. One question: do you toast the pecans first?

Carol said...

These look delicious! I still have several of my Taste of Home cookbooks and love them.

Connie said...

I have never had homemade caramels, they look amazing.
Merry Christmas!
Connie :)

Rebecca said...

Taste of Home was the only magazine subscription my mother ever gave... One for her one for my sister and one for me. We had a blast with it each issue. A dinner party without telling each other what we where bringing. When my Mom passed I continued the subscription with fond memories Until it was no longer the magazine I looked forward to each time and also discontinued it several years ago.

Tired Teacher said...

Oh my, the caramels look tasty!

I agree that the "new" Taste of Home magazine is a disappointment: I subscribed for years. I've not renewed many of the magazines I regularly read: I'm no longer in their targeted demographic and don't find them enjoyable anymore.

juliehallfeldhaus said...

Just one more reason I need to visit you:)

Linda Ault said...

I too no longer get 'Taste of Home' but still use some of them. I was picked as an 'editor' from Indiana when the magazine was brand new. I recently looked at a old copy which featured a friend and I hosting a Christmas Tea for our club. It was certainly a great magazine at one time.

Doniene said...

Wishing you and yours a Blessed Joyous Christmas Season!

Janet O. said...

These look scrumptious!
I totally agree about Taste of Home. My MIL used to give me gift subscriptions every year and I loved it. Many of my family favorites are from that mag. But after not taking it for many years, I subscribed a couple of years ago and it was very disappointing.

StitchinByTheLake said...

Oh my goodness these sound wonderful! I don't make much candy but these are sure tempting. blessings, marlene

Denise :) said...

Holy Wow! These sound marvelous . . . I may just have to add them to the holiday baking repertoire! :)

Rhonda said...

OMG!!! Thank you for sharing your recipe. I can't wait to try it out this weekend.

Vickie said...

That recipe might actually come to fruition in the Mazurek house this year! Can't go wrong with pecan recipe at Christmas. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Alycia said...

Mmmm - those look good!! So... do you think they would work without the pecans? ( we are allergic to nuts)

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