Pecans: Preheat your oven to
350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
Place the pecans on a baking sheet and toast the nuts for about 6-8 minutes, or
until lightly brown and fragrant. Cool and then chop coarsely.
Line the bottom and sides of an 8 x 4 inch (20 x 10 cm) loaf pan
with foil. Lightly butter the foil.
In a heavy
bottomed 2 1/2
quart (10 cup) (2.5 liter) saucepan, stir together the brown sugar, cream, maple
syrup, corn syrup, and salt. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring just to a boil,
stirring constantly. Once the mixture boils, cover, and boil this way for about
minutes. Uncover and clamp a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan. Boil the
mixture over medium heat (do not stir) until the temperature reaches 248
degrees F (120 degrees C). (If sugar crystals form on the sides of the pan, wash
them down with a heatproof pastry brush that has been dipped in warm water.) Remove the
pan from the heat and stir in the butter, vanilla extract and chopped nuts.
Carefully pour the mixture
into the prepared pan and spread evenly with a small offset spatula or back of
a spoon. Leave to cool at room temperature for about an hour or two, or until caramels
To cut into
squares: Lift the caramels from the pan by holding onto the edges of the
aluminum foil. Peel pack the foil and, using a sharp knife cut into one
inch (2.5 cm) squares.
These caramels can
be stored at room temperature, between layers of wax paper, for a few days. But
I like to store them in the refrigerator (for up to two weeks). Or you can
freeze them for about two
Makes about 32 caramels. Preparation time 45 minutes.
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