#Recipe: Homemade Caramels and Turtles

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Now that the baking is done I actually have time to share a few more recipes! I have been making this caramel for 15 years and it is SUPERB! I will warn you that you DO need to use a thermometer and YES it has to be accurate! A difference of just 2 degrees is enough to go from a soft caramel to a hard caramel! All the ingredients are easily found at the grocery store and you can buy a good candy thermometer at Michaels or JoAnne’s. Don’t forget to use your coupon! If you are making turtles, too, you will need a candy funnel. You can also find this at any good craft store!



  • 4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • pecans (optional) if using caramel to make turtles too
  • melted dipping chocolate (if desired)


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1. Butter two glass 13 x 9 inch pans. If you are making turtles along with the caramels, use ONE 13 x 9 inch glass pan and 2 buttered non stick cookie sheets that have been layered with pecans. You want a fairly thick layer of nuts…you will have lots left over once the turtles set to use again!

2. In a large pot (2 to 3 quart size? you want it only about half full to allow room for boiling!) put the butter, sugar, corn syrup, and 2 cups of whipping cream.

3. Over medium/high heat bring this to a boil, stirring frequently.

4. Using a small pastry brush and a little bit of water, wash down the sides of the pot to remove any undissolved sugar crystals.

5. Now comes the sort of tricky part! You want to add the remaining 2 cups of cream slowly without breaking the boil! This will take a while…just dribble a little in while stirring constantly. Wait a few seconds, then repeat. Once all of the cream is added you can put the candy thermometer on the pan and start checking the temperature.

6. You want the caramel to reach a temperature of 246 degrees F for a firm caramel. I prefer a softer caramel and cook to only 244 degrees F. You will know it is getting close because the color starts to darken and it gets thicker.

7. Carefully pour the caramel into the prepared pans. If you are making turtles, use a high quality metal or silicone ladle to get the hot caramel into the candy funnel, then pour the caramel from the funnel onto the pecans in 1 to 2 inch ‘piles’. The caramel will drizzle down between the nuts. I usually go back over the same spots twice to make sure there is plenty of caramel in each turtle.

8. Let cool and cut with a buttered knife. You will probably have to cool it overnight. You can wrap the caramels in foil wrappers to preserve freshness.


9. For the turtles, when the caramel is firm (in an hour or so) you can separate them and break off any spare nuts that aren’t quite attached. Then, dip each one in melted chocolate. You can also dip the plain caramels in melted chocolate as well. Make sure you use a good quality dipping chocolate, not chocolate chips!


4 thoughts on “#Recipe: Homemade Caramels and Turtles”

  1. We made carmels several years ago and loved them but never put nuts in them. Thanks for the recipe. I am going to try it.


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