I made some caramel pecan chocolate candies and had plenty of leftover caramel for just caramels. I did not change Dianna's recipe at all, so pop over there and check it out. (If you're going to store these for a while or send them, you should temper the chocolate before you use it or use quik melt fake chocolate stuff.) I did learn some things actually making the caramel so I've reproduced my version of that recipe below my prep picture. I don't have any pictures of the finished product--that tells you something. My husband doesn't like caramel but he liked these because the texture was different, softer, than store bought caramels.
½ cup (1 stick) Salted Butter (add ¼ teaspoon of salt to a stick of unsalted butter)
1½ cups white sugar (maybe next time I'll try brown sugar or adding a little molasses)
½ teaspoonground cinnamon
½ teaspoonground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
A dash of cloves if you're feeling brave
1 cup light corn syrup*
1⅓ cup (14 oz. can) sweetened condensed milk
½ cup 100% pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice could be substituted for cinnamon, ground ginger, and ground allspice.
Line a 9" square pan with parchment paper and grease it. In a heavy 2 to 3 quart sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sugar and spices, blend throughly. Add corn syrup, sweetened condensed milk, and pumpkin slowly and mixing well after each addition. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent scorching until the temperature reaches 248°F (firm ball stage). Remove from heat and pour into pan. Cool. Cut candy in to small squares (less than 1") and wrap in wax paper. Store in an airtight container.
WHATEVER YOU DO DO NOT POUR THE CARAMEL ON UNGREASED WAX PAPER THE WAX WILL MELT INTO THE HOT, HOT CARAMEL! IT WILL TASTE WEIRD AND PAPERY!
*One thing I vividly remember about growing up in Illinois is a man from Big Corn came to talk to our elementary school class about corn and he brought in corn syrup and told us to put it on our pancakes.