Silky and rich Vanilla Cinnamon Caramels you can whip up in a hurry – perfect for holiday neighbor gifts!
The holidays, they’re busy. We just attended Christmas party number three last night and we still aren’t through with these shindigs. But when a gathering involves a whole slew of adults decorating gingerbread houses amongst 15 grandchildren, I can’t help but love this whole season.
One of the holiday traditions I always look forward to is neighbor gifts. We usually receive several from friends and I love to see what will be on our doorstep every couple of days throughout December, but what I love most is deciding what to give out. I always go with a homemade treat. Nothing says Happy Holidays like something fresh from our kitchen to yours you know? Last year I gave homemade chocolate covered cinnamon bears and three kinds of homemade cookies. This year, it’s caramels. Vanilla Cinnamon Caramels. And I’m kind of obsessed with them.
I love the extra season YUMM these caramels have when you add just a bit of vanilla and cinnamon to the mix. And in my opinion, vanilla and cinnamon and caramel go to gather like pb+j.
These tasty caramels are SO easy to make, you don’t even need a candy thermometer. My mother always used one and to be honest, her recipe intimidates me a little bit. But this recipe doesn’t need one – just watch for that deep golden-amber color, then stir in your vanilla and cinnamon and pour into a pan to cool. Bada-bing-bada-boom. DELICIOUS caramel ready to stuff into your face. Oh wait, I mean ready to be wrapped and delivered to your loved ones.
Yeah that’s what I meant.
Vanilla Cinnamon Caramels
Silky and rich vanilla cinnamon caramels you can whip up in a hurry - perfect for holiday neighbor gifts!
- 1 1/2 sticks butter (12 tablespoons)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon
In a medium sauce pan melt 1 1/2 sticks of butter with 1/2 cup sugar. Add corn syrup and condensed milk. (Continue to stir throughout the entire process) Bring to a rapid boil over medium-high heat, and then decrease to medium heat (should still be bubbling) 6-8 minutes or until mixture achieves deep golden color, stirring constantly. (I recommend a whisk! - see note) Once golden color is reached, remove from heat and stir in cinnamon and vanilla.
Pour into a greased, foil-lined 8x8 inch pan and allow to cool. (You can place it in the fridge to speed up the cooling process or allow to cool at room temperature.) Cut into squares and wrap in wax paper. Store at room temperature up to 2 weeks.
If your caramel starts to separate (the butter pools on top of the caramel in the pan), remove from heat and whisk whisk whisk like crazy til it comes back together. Then return to heat and continue to whisk until golden color is achieved.
Prep time does not include cooling time.
This recipe has been sponsored by my friends at McCormick – thanks for letting me work with the brands I love!