Merry Widow Caramels
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Best caramels ever! Be prepared to get your arm workout for the day, you need to stir constantly and they take 20-25 minutes or so to get to the firm ball stage. Sprinkle with a little course salt after you pour them into the pan, if you like salted caramel.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 75-100 caramels
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, room temprature
  • 1¾ cups light karo syrup
  • 1 cup butter, room temprature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • course sea salt (optional)
  • pecans (optional)
  1. Butter a 9x13 pan and set aside.
  2. Prepare thermometer or set up a few small cups of cold water near your oven so you can check the caramel when you see it turning light brown. You want it to be firm ball stage. (see above post for more details about firm ball stage)
  3. Combine sugar, cream, karo syrup, and butter in a large pot. It needs to be a 4 quart pan because once the mixture boils up it will be get within about 1½ inches from the top of the pan.)
  4. Bring combination to a full boil, while stirring constantly.
  5. At this point you can turn the heat down a few notches but keep the mixture boiling, and continue to stir constantly.
  6. It usually takes mine about 20 minutes to get to the firm ball stage, but watch your thermometer or check the mixture in a cup of cold water to make sure it is moving along.
  7. Once the mixture reaches firm ball stage quickly stir in the vanilla and dump directly into the buttered 9x13 pan, do not scrap the sides. (I scrap the sides of the pan out onto a little buttered plate and eat that myself while I wait for the rest to cool)
  8. If you want to add pecans to all or part of the caramels you can press them into the top of the caramel while it is still warm.
  9. If you want to add course salt, sprinkle a small amount on top of caramels immediately after pouring them into the 9x13 pan.
  10. Let cool for at least 2-3 hours before cutting and wrapping in wax paper.
  11. I usually cut mine in inch size pieces and get about 80 caramels.
Recipe by Real Life Dinner at