Old fashioned hard caramel candy prepared with only 2 ingredients (yep I'm serious!)
My grandmother used to make these for my dad when he was small and now I'm sharing it with you.
My grandmother in Austria used to make these 2 ingredient caramel hard candy back in the day when my father was a kid.
Most of my dad's family made them for Christmas and so my dad's cousin was able to retrieve the old fashioned recipe.
The caramel are made from scratch with only milk and sugar.
This was a candy which they made when the second world war ended in rural Austria and it was considered a real special treat back then.
The recipe was handed down by a neighbor lady to my folks, hence why it's called caramel from Sammerin (that was the ladies' family name).
How to make it?
For this particular homemade caramel candy recipe, you will need a large pan and only plain milk and sugar.
Here you can make caramel without a candy thermometer.
The complete recipe with ingredient quantity and step by step instructions with video can be found at the bottom of this post.
Place milk and sugar into a pan and heat up.
Stir continuously over a steady heat and bring to a rolling boil.
Over time it will reduce but it will take at least 30 to 40 minutes.
At the last stage, the caramel will thicken and turn brown.
Just keep on stirring until you are satisfied with the color and consistency.
Pour the thick caramel quickly without wasting time on a buttered parchment-lined sheet pan.
Spread out the caramel.
You need to work fast because caramel thickens quickly the moment it is taken from the heat and you need to be careful because it's super hot.
When the caramel is thick, you get to cut it into desired shapes.
My grandmother would shape her caramel into balls and she would simply keep then in a tin box lined with parchment paper.
I do almost the same, just that I cut them into squares to save time.
You can also cut some parchment paper squares or waxed paper and wrap the caramel candies into the paper by twisting the ends.
Another idea is to get candy wrappers but those tend to be made of plastic and that's not very environment-friendly.
The caramel candy can last for up to 2 months in a cool and dry environment, away from direct sunlight.
In a tropical climate, I recommend to keep your old fashioned caramels in an airtight container and you should consume them within weeks.
If you want to extend the shelf life, you can do so by keeping your caramel in the fridge.
You can enhance your caramels further by adding any of the following ingredients:
- a tablespoon or two of butter - for a richer flavor and smoother consistency. The more you add the chewier they get.
- thick sea salt - for salted caramel
- red chili pepper flakes - for fiery caramel candies
- chopped hazelnut or almond pieces - to add crunch to your hard candy
- vanilla extract
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Old Fashioned Caramel Candy Recipe
For the Candy
- 2½ cup Milk
- 2¼ cup Sugar
For the cooling
- 1 sheet Parchment Paper
- Pour milk and sugar into a pan and heat up.
- Mix while the milk and sugar are heating up over medium to high heat.
- Bring to a rolling boil and take back to medium heat.
- Stir occasionally while the milk and sugar get reduced.
- At the last stage, the milk and sugar will get frothy and thick. Just keep on stirring over a medium heat setting while the ingredients are getting thick and darker in color.
- Reduce and stir cook until you are satisfied with the color of your caramel.
- Take from the heat and quickly pour liquid caramel over a buttered parchment paper. You need to be fast because caramel thicks quickly.
- Swiftly spread out the caramel as good as possible and leave it to cool for about 10 minutes.
- When the caramel can be touched without you getting burned, you can go ahead and cut the caramel into a desired size and shape.
- Either wrap your caramel individually in butter paper or store them in a tin box lined with parchment paper.
- I use a large skillet to prepare my old fashioned caramel so that it reduces faster and the caramel gets formed within 30-40 minutes.
- I use normal milk. I recommend to use a milk which contains enough fats or else the caramels won't shape the way they should. Don't use low fat milk.
- I used regular sugar but you can use brown sugar too.
- You may add flavors to your caramel with the other ingredients. For some ideas see in the post.
- Keep in mind that caramel is super hot so be careful and don't burn yourself!
- My grandmother would roll the caramel into balls. I think spreading out and cutting the caramels is easier and less time consuming.
- Large Saucepan (a reader pointed that out in the comments)
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