When I posted this Peanut Butter Cup Fudge,

Peanut Butter Cup Fudge {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

I shared some of my candy making conundrums with you and offered some tips that I have learned for how to resolve them.

Vanilla Bean Sea Salt Caramels {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

I have had my fair share of caramel-making challenges as well, but the past few years, I have been able to make chewy caramels that are soft and so buttery.  This year, I decided to add some some vanilla bean paste and sea salt to my mom’s classic caramel recipe.  The sea salt really takes these over the top and balances the sweetness so perfectly.

Vanilla Bean Sea Salt Caramels {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

I also attribute some of my recent candy making success to the use of the Thermapen.  This digital thermometer allows for precise accuracy down to the tenth of a degree which is so crucial for candy making.  Read my full-review of this helpful kitchen tool here.

To help  your candy-making courage and encourage you to try some new recipes, the kind people at Thermoworks have offered to give a Thermapen to one lucky Satisfy My Sweet Tooth reader!  Use the widget below to enter and good luck!

Vanilla Bean Sea Salt Caramels

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: about 50 caramels

Soft, chewy and buttery caramels infused with vanilla bean paste and sprinkled with sea salt

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Liberally butter a 9X13" glass pan. Line with parchment paper overhanging the edges and lightly butter the parchment paper.
  2. In a medium pot, melt butter over low heat.
  3. Add sugar, milk and corn syrup and heat over medium-high heat until mixture boils, stirring only a couple of times.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until mixture reaches 240 degrees on a thermometer.
  5. Remove from heat and quickly and carefully stir in vanilla bean paste.
  6. Pour (carefully) into prepared pan, sprinkle modestly with sea salt and allow to cool completely (you can place the pan into the refrigerator once it is cool enough to handle and allow to cool and set).
  7. Once cooled, lift caramels out of the pan using the overhanging parchment paper.
  8. Cut into desired size (I like to use a buttered kitchen scissors to cut the caramels) and wrap individually in wax paper.

melt butter

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add sugar, milk and corn syrup and bring to a boil

IMG_0259

cook until mixture reaches 240 degrees (I am aware that the thermometer does not read the correct temperature in this picture, I had to snap a photo before the critical temperature was reached!)

IMG_0261

pour into prepared pan and cool before cutting and wrapping

IMG_0262Vanilla Bean Sea Salt Caramels {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Vanilla Bean Sea Salt Caramels {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

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*ThermoWorks provided me with a Thermapen to review however, all opinions are, as always, my own.

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36 Comments ( Reply )

  1. Catherine (FOOD SNOB)
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 7:51 am

    My last kitchen disaster? Well . . . I left for work one morning with the oven on, and a tray of muffins inside! Since I take an express bus to work, let’s just say I had to call in reinforcements, as I was literally stuck on the bus! No fire, thank goodness!

    Reply

    • Mercedes
      Dec 19, 2012 @ 4:12 pm

      I am happy to hear that there was no fire Catherine, but that is a great kitchen disaster story! Thanks for entering!

      Reply

  2. Natalie S
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 8:46 am

    My last kitchen disaster was when I forgot a whole cup of flour when making cookies. The batch didn’t turn out so I made another batch and forgot a whole cup of flour again! I finally realized as I was falling asleep, what I did wrong and proceeded to make a new batch the next day that turned out perfectly because it had all the flour! haha

    Reply

    • Mercedes
      Dec 19, 2012 @ 4:12 pm

      That is a great disaster story Natalie, it happens to all of us! Thanks for entering!

      Reply

  3. Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 11:24 am

    Your caramels are gorgeous, this is a great giveaway! I had true making caramel last Christmas and I’ve been afraid to try again ever since!

    Reply

    • Mercedes
      Dec 19, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

      Thank you Laura!

      Reply

  4. Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 11:26 am

    Oops, I meant had trouble making caramel!

    Reply

  5. Marlene
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 1:42 pm

    I forgot to add baking soda to a carrot cake recipe I was making…it was as flat as a pancake!

    Reply

    • Mercedes
      Dec 19, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

      That is a great story Marlene, we all have them! Thanks for entering!

      Reply

  6. Martha
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 2:23 pm

    My last kitchen disaster was when I lifted a roasting pan out of the oven. The pan somehow caught the edge of the stove and the turkey flew (no pun intended)out of the pan and landed on the floor. The pan then flipped over onto the stove and raw turkey juices ran all over the place. It was a mess.

    Reply

    • Mercedes
      Dec 19, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

      Oh no Martha, that sounds like a true kitchen disaster, but we have all had them! Thanks for sharing and entering!

      Reply

  7. Judy
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 2:25 pm

    What a great giveaway; without a thermometer my fudge never sets up.

    Reply

    • Mercedes
      Dec 19, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

      Thanks for entering Judy!

      Reply

  8. Cassie | Bake Your Day
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

    I love sea salt caramels. They are a huge weakness, actually. These look amazing, Mercedes!

    Reply

    • Mercedes
      Dec 19, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

      Thank you Cassie!

      Reply

  9. Stephanie
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 3:39 pm

    Well…I don’t know about distasters, but, I am trying to make a bunch of food for my BF to have when he starts his new job. I work from home so in between my boss IM-ing me, I was making and wrapping breakfast burritos and other wraps with all sorts of great fillings. Of course, my scribbled notes are barely legible or complete. Most of his stuff is going to now be labeled, “Beats me what’s in this!” (How you food bloggers can take photos and bake/cook and keep notes is beyond me. Besides, no one wanted to see the burrito mess I had goin’ on.)

    Reply

    • Mercedes
      Dec 19, 2012 @ 4:26 pm

      I am sure that your BF appreciated the food you make him regardless of whether he knows what it is or not! Thanks for entering Stephanie!

      Reply

  10. Jan R
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 5:42 pm

    I killed the yeast on my Thanksgiving buns ;-(

    Reply

    • Mercedes
      Dec 19, 2012 @ 7:32 pm

      That has happened to me many times with yeast, it’s tricky! Thanks for entering!

      Reply

  11. emily (a nutritionist eats)
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 5:44 pm

    I was having many kitchen disasters…not really disasters I guess, just food not tasting good! 🙂

    Reply

  12. emily (a nutritionist eats)
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 5:44 pm

    The caramels are adorable by the way!

    Reply

    • Mercedes
      Dec 19, 2012 @ 7:32 pm

      Thanks Em!

      Reply

  13. Averie @ Averie Cooks
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 9:15 pm

    last disaster – dropping a glass jar all over the floor – of get this: Trader Joe’s Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce!!

    Reply

    • Mercedes
      Dec 21, 2012 @ 8:45 pm

      That must have been a mess to clean up Averie! Oh no!

      Reply

  14. Amanda Thompson
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 9:32 pm

    I made some dark chocolate fudge that didn’t set. It was still super yummy though, so we just had to eat it with a spoon!

    Reply

    • Mercedes
      Dec 21, 2012 @ 8:46 pm

      Eating fudge with a spoon doesn’t sound like the worst thing that could happen ;). Thanks for entering Amanda!

      Reply

  15. Christie
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 10:30 pm

    These look amazing! I’m going to have to make them!

    Reply

  16. Jennie
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 2:57 am

    I don’t know if it was a disaster, but when I triple a recipe and the cookies don’t bake as attractively, it is a big disappointment….especially when it is meant for a child to bring in!

    Reply

  17. Luv What You Do
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 8:54 am

    I often shy away from candy becasue I don’t have a theramameter. I will have to pick one up with one of my holiday gift cards!

    Reply

  18. Mbb
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 4:43 pm

    what a great homemade christmas gift…

    Reply

  19. Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 7:10 pm

    Sadly, it was only yesterday! And for my hubby’s birthday…I baked the cheesecake for 1 hour and 15 minutes when it was only supposed to be 20 minutes. Don’t ask.

    Reply

    • Mercedes
      Dec 21, 2012 @ 8:47 pm

      Oh no Loretta! I’m sure you husband appreciated the effort you went to!

      Reply

  20. Kristin
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 8:35 pm

    Ohmigosh! I made mashed potatoes…and when I was about to scoop them into a bowl I wondered when I had put pepper in them…I didn’t remember putting pepper in them. Hum….weird. Then it dawned on me. I had blended them in a teflon pan and that wasn’t pepper but tiny cancer causing black flecks spread around my mashed potatoes. Hahahaha!

    Reply

    • Mercedes
      Dec 21, 2012 @ 8:47 pm

      Oh my goodness Kristin! That sounds awful!

      Reply

  21. Jessica@AKitchenAddiction
    Dec 21, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

    Caramels actually. I read the temperature wrong. . .guess I need to get a digital thermometer!

    Reply

  22. manda kay
    Dec 22, 2012 @ 9:31 pm

    Not sure it was a disaster but Thanksgiving and cooking a turkey is not something I plan to do again.

    Reply

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