- Prep: 30 mins
- Cook: 40 mins
- Line an 8x8x2-inch or 9x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Butter the foil. Set aside.
- In a 3-quart heavy saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add brown sugar, half-and-half, and corn syrup; mix well. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan (see Candy Thermometer, below). Reduce heat to medium. Continue boiling mixture at a moderate, steady rate, stirring frequently, until the thermometer registers 248 degrees F, firm-ball stage (40 to 50 minutes). Adjust heat as necessary to maintain a steady boil.
- Remove saucepan from heat; remove thermometer. Stir in vanilla. Quickly pour mixture into prepared pan. Cool 10 to 12 minutes; sprinkle with salt and pepper. When firm use foil to lift candy out of pan.* Use a buttered knife to cut into 2x1/2-inch size pieces. Wrap each caramel in waxed paper or plastic wrap. Store up to 2 weeks.
Mix the salt and pepper or you can do one side with salt and the other with the peppercorns.
If desired, for easier slicing, freeze caramel for 10 minutes or until just firm. Cut as directed.
Cooking to the correct temperature is crucial when making most candies, ensuring toffees turn out crunchy and caramels stay chewy. Our Test Kitchen prefers a digital thermometer with a clip to attach it to the side of the pan. Before making candy, always calibrate the thermometer per manufacture's instructions.
- Per serving:
- 70 kcal cal.,
- 4 g fat
- (2 g sat. fat,
- 1 g monounsatured fat),
- 10 mg chol.,
- 40 mg sodium,
- 9 g carb.,
- 8 g sugar
- Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet