Homemade caramel with pecans is so tasty, and so soft, chewy and delicious! This caramel is definitely one of my family’s favorite things to make during this time of year, especially around the holidays.
Making caramel is definitely a holiday tradition with my girls and I. Every year we make many batches to enjoy and give to family and friends. Since my oldest daughter has joined the Navy, and has been gone for about five years now, my youngest daughter and I still continue to make this chewy goodness!
When my daughter comes home on leave during the holidays, she is able to enjoy helping out, and eating it as well. Once you make your own homemade caramel, you will definitely be able to taste the difference between store bought!
This recipe came from my friend Margaret, a long time ago. I added in the pecans, and have been making it ever since! It’s delicious without the pecans as well! I hope you will enjoy making this caramel for many years to come! It’s so good!
- 1 cup butter
- 1 16 oz box of light brown sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Dash of salt (optional)
- ¾ cup chopped pecans
- In a heavy bottom pan, melt butter over low heat.
- Once butter is melted, add brown sugar and salt, and stir thoroughly.
- Next, add the light corn syrup and continue to stir.
- Slowly add in the condensed milk while stirring.
- Cook over low heat and continue stirring constantly.
- Once caramel starts to boil, continue cooking until the caramel reaches 230° and then start to test for "soft ball stage." This takes approximately 16-18 minutes to get to this point, all the while stirring constantly.
- If you are unsure what "soft ball stage" means, get a small bowl of cold water and once the temperature reaches 230° drop a little caramel into the cold water and see if it feels soft, but somewhat firm between your fingers. This might need to be done a few times to get to the right temperature for the caramel. If it is too soft and doesn't form somewhat of a ball, continue cooking a little bit longer, stirring constantly. Keep testing for the firmness with the "soft ball stage" method. Once the caramel reaches the desired texture and temperature, remove from heat. Make sure the caramel's temperature does not reach beyond 240° because then your caramel will be too hard.
- Once removed from heat, add vanilla and stir.
- Pour caramel into a generously buttered 9x13 glass baking dish.
- Add pecans to the top of the caramel. Lightly press down the pecans a little bit to set them into the caramel, and then let cool.
- Once caramel has cooled, remove from baking dish and place caramel on a piece of wax paper. I use a long spatula that has been buttered so the caramel will not stick to it.
- Cut into bite size pieces.
- You can wrap the caramel individually in wax paper and twist up the ends, or place caramel in a container with wax paper between the layers.
Here are a couple pics that are the perfect size for pinning to Pinterest!