Aunt Kathleen's Caramels

Prep Time
Cook Time
Ready In

"This recipe is a very old one, and a treasured memory of my Great Aunt Kathleen. They are SO GOOD! Store them in a plastic container, and they last for 2 weeks or more, but they won't, because you'll be into them until they are gone... GUARANTEED :) PLEASE NOTE: Make sure you stir the caramel continuously while making, so that it doesn't stick or burn. Cook over medium heat until the mixture starts to boil, then turn down to med-low, and bring the temperature to the firm ball stage (245-250 degrees on your candy thermometer). Serving size is approximate, depending on how big you cut the pieces."

Original recipe yields 50-60 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (25 g)
  • Calories 67.5
  • Total Fat - 2.2 g
  • Saturated Fat - 0.3 g
  • Cholesterol - 2.5 mg
  • Sodium - 30.2 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 11.8 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 0.3 g
  • Sugars - 8.3 g
  • Protein - 0.8 g
  • Calcium - 9.5 mg
  • Iron - 0.2 mg
  • Vitamin C - 0.3 mg
  • Thiamin - 0 mg

Step by Step Method

Step 1

Put butter, sugar, brown sugar, and Karo into pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until it starts to boil.

Step 2

After it starts to boil, turn down to med-low heat, and let boil for 10 minutes, stirring constantly so it doesn't stick or burn on the bottom of the pan.

Step 3

Remove from heat, and add condensed milk. Stir well.

Step 4

Put back on stove, and bring the temperature to the hard ball stage (250 degrees on your candy thermometer, about another 10 minutes). (The brown sugar addition adds moisture to the molasses, so this is why the recipe needs to reach the hard ball stage instead of the firm ball stage, that most caramel recipes require).

Step 5

Remove from stove, and add nuts and vanilla. Mix well.

Step 6

Pour into a buttered pan (I use a 9x13" cake pan).

Step 7

Cool completely, and then cut with a sharp knife.

Step 8

Cut wax paper into 2x2" squares.

Step 9

Wrap each caramel in wax paper and twist ends.

Step 10

Refrigerate in a plastic container.

Tips & Variations

  • Candy thermometer

6 Reviews


I made these for Easter to satisfy my sweets craving. I went one step further and dipped the caramels in dark and milk chocolate before wrapping them in wax paper. Wowie!


review by:
(13 Apr 2020)


I made two separate times to make sure I had enough of these yummy caramels. I loaded up the family cookie trays with these. Got lots of phone calls on this one. Compliments and recipe requests galore! So easy to make too.


review by:
(3 Jan 2020)


OMG, talk about good, I think I ate half the batch! It's a wonder I had any left to bring to my moms. They are outrageously delicious and worth every calorie. No guilt here (HA!).


review by:
(1 Jan 2015)


I finally made these to have for Christmas day and everyone LOVED them. I added extra nuts because you can never have enough! The kids especially loved them. It made about 50 caramels and I cut them about 2x2".


review by:
(1 Jan 2015)


You have some great cookie and candy recipes here and I can't wait to try them all, but I wanted to make these for my cookie trays. I added in pecans chopped in the final stage of cooking, and my gosh are they good! They went flying off my treat tray on Christmas and everyone was glad I stuck some on their cookie trays to go home with them. Super delicious and fun to make!


review by:
(31 Dec 2013)


I haven't had these in a very long time but when I saw that Linda posted it here I just had to make them. My mother used to make these every year for Christmas and we got to cut up the wax paper to roll them up in. It was a fun time with my mom and sisters, so these are near and dear to my heart. I added pecans and walnuts to them. Everyone brought home some and told me I better make them again next year!


review by:
(30 Dec 2013)