Start by toasting 2 cups of almonds by spreading them on a cookie sheet and toasting in 350 oven for about 12 minutes. They should look a little darker and they will start to smell toasty and to pop here and there.
Spread toasted caramels in a foil-lined pan, (I like the thickness my 11×15 produces.) I don’t bother to chop them. When I cut the caramels, they are cut up a little.
Truthfully, any nuts will work. . .but I think almonds have the best texture and flavor.
In a LARGE HEAVY POT Heat, stirring constantly:
4 cups of granulated white sugar
1 cup salted butter
2 cups cornsyrup, (not dark)
Cook this mixture until it is bubbling steadily and then very gradually, (over about 10 minutes) add 2 cans of well-shaken evaporated milk. Add it slowly so that it doesn’t stop the boiling.
Cook to 238 degrees using a thermometer. That’s called “soft ball” but it’s very tricky to get it just right without a thermometer.
Remove from heat and stir in
2 teaspoons good quality vanilla.
Pour hot caramel over nuts in pan.
If you like salted caramels, sprinkle lightly with coarse sea salt at this point. For my taste, the salt in the butter is enough, so taste before salting more.
Cut with a pizza cutter and sides with knife or metal spatula.I like to cut it in 1/2 inch cubes. This seems to be the ‘bite size’ that is just right.
I wrap by twisting the pieces into a 3 inch square piece of parchment paper.
Wrapping is very tedious, so it saves time and work if you just eat them as you wrap!