December 6, 2008

Chocolate Pecan Caramels

1 T. plus 1 C. butter (no substitutes), softened, divided
1-1/2 C. coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
1 C. (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
2 C. packed brown sugar
1 C. light corn syrup
1/4 C. water
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
2 t. vanilla extract

Line a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan with foil. Butter the foil with 1 tablespoon butter. Sprinkle with pecans and chocolate chips; set aside.

In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt remaining butter. Ad brown sugar, corn syrup and water. Cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in the milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until a candy thermometer reads 248 degrees (firm-ball-stage). Pour mixture into prepared pan (do not scrape saucepan).

When completely cool, cut into squares. Makes about 2-1/2 pounds (about 6-3/4 dozen).

Note: It's a very good idea to test your candy thermometer's accuracy before starting this recipe. Bring water to a boil and put the thermometer in it; it should should read 212° f. Adjust your recipe temperature up or down based on the result of your test.

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