1/2 c. butter
1 - 1/8 c. brown sugar
Dash of salt
1/2 c. light corn syrup
1/2 c. plus 2 T. sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
In a large (and I mean large . . . mine was not large enough, hence the EXPLOSION) glass bowl, microwave the butter, brown sugar, and salt on high, for 1 minute. Gradually blend in the corn syrup and condensed milk. Then, microwave on high 10 minutes, stirring every 4 minutes until the caramel reaches the firm ball stage (245 degrees) . . . according to my mom (who gave me this recipe) I failed at this step. My caramels probably needed another 2-4 minutes to reach that stage. The explosion freaked me out, so I didn't allow them to ball . . . firmly. Then, blend in vanilla. Pour the mixture into a well-buttered 9x9x2 pan. Allow the caramel to cool thoroughly (I let mine set for a few hours). Cut the caramel into small squares and wrap each square in plastic wrap or wax paper.
The reason my caramel is misshapen and has holes is because of the lack of firm balling. HA! I'll definitely mind my caramels much more carefully (and not let them scare me) the next time around.
They may not have been firm enough, or perfectly shaped, but these taste GOOD. Really good. I was glad to send 3/4 of them to the BF's office so that I wouldn't turn into a caramel, myself.
If I were going to be spending the holiday entertaining people other than the BF and myself, I would spend the day wearing something fabulous under my apron and rocking these:
Tory Burch via Nordstrom
As it is, I'll be lounging around all day (and cooking) in my gumdrop jammies and slippers . . .
. . . eating caramels.