Thursday, December 24, 2009

Neighbor Gifts (Caramel Recipe)

Our first Christmas in Utah brought with it a surprise: the neighbor gift. Starting the Saturday before Christmas and for the rest of the week we received knocks on our door and on the other side of the door was the smiling face of one of our neighbors handing us a sweet, small gift. The thing about these neighbor gifts was that they were all incredibly creative! Each gift came with a note attached with a fun little poem or message, usually a play on words that tied the gift given into the Christmas season. One of my favorites of all time was a bottle of rootbeer that had been given a red puffball nose and pipe cleaner antlers with a message that read "Merry Christmas and Happy Rootbeer!"

This year in the craziness of the holidays forgot to come up with something creative, so I whipped up a couple of batches of my favorite caramels, attached a tag wishing our neighbors a sweet Christmas and went with it! Next year I am determined to come up with something clever, but for this year caramels will have to do (and honestly, these are so yummy, who would be disappointed with gooey, sweet caramel?)

Since I can't make caramels for all of you, my readers, I have decided to do the next best thing: share with you this simple, amazing caramel recipe! With only a few ingredients you too can whip up a yummy batch of caramels to share with your family and friends.


2 c brown sugar
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 c dark corn syrup
1 c real butter

1. Generously grease a 9X13 baking dish (I find that a spray like PAM works best)
2. Cook all ingredients over medium heat, stirring constantly
3. When mixture reaches a boil, set a timer for 5 minutes.
4. Continue stirring constantly until 5 minutes are up then pour into prepared baking dish
5. Allow to cool completely. I usually place them in the fridge for about 2 hours
6. When completely cooled you can cut the caramel into pieces about the size of a KRAFT caramel and wrap in small pieces of waxed paper (I usually roll out a piece about 3 and a half inches long and tear off of the roll, then cut that into three equal pieces. This is just about the right size for wrapping your caramels, but experiment and find what works best for you)

I wish I could give proper credit for this recipe. I received it several years ago from a sweet lady I knew through church when we were living in California. She got the recipe from her mother.

May your Christmas be filled with family, friends and wonderful memories. May you feel the true spirit of this Christmas season. Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

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