Pinterest Fail: My NOT SO Soft Caramels

Pinterest Fail Caramels
 
Well it has happened.  I have had a Pinterest Fail of my own. I knew it would happen to me some day, but it shouldn’t have happened with this.
 
I don’t get it.  I followed the recipe exactly!
 
Forever ago I pinned this delicious looking soft caramels recipe and thought to myself… “Katie, these would be a great holiday candy to make!” 
Pinterest Fail Caramels
 
 So I pinned it away, waiting for the holidays and a baking mood to strike up.
 
I bought all the RIGHT ingredients
 
Pinterest Fail Caramels
 
Added the Right amounts of ingredients and cooked for the RIGHT amount of time.  (I was even using a candy thermometer!)

Pinterest Fail Caramels
 
Pored it into my awaiting cake dish to let it cool

Pinterest Fail Caramels
 
I went to cut it, and NOOOOOOOO! There was no cutting.  I could chip chunks off but I think I would have broke my knife if I had forced it through.

Pinterest Fail Caramels
 
So here I am, sitting with a very soar arm (I had to stir constantly for about 30 minutes – Which I did the RIGHT way.  I never even stopped to take a sip of my glorious Sonic drink! Now you know that’s dedication!), and no yummy SOFT caramels.  
 
I think next time I want some caramels I will just go buy a bag of Werther’s.
 
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Comments

  1. says

    I’ve made caramels a couple of times- what I discovered is that the temp they told me to heat the mix to was much too high for the caramels I wanted to make- the second time I made them I heated them to 10 degrees lower and they were slightly less hard. The next time I make them I’ll leave the temp at 200 degrees or below.

    I’d just heat them up a bit and eat them quick before they cool down again! They are still really good!

  2. says

    Isn’t that the most frustrating thing. When you work so hard and then have it not turn out! Just tell the family that you made them some hard candy. :) Thanks for sharing on “I Gotta Try That” Have a great week!
    Marcie

  3. says

    OH NO! Do you have a gas range? I find that anytime I try to do candy making on my gas range it’s too hot, I can’t get the flame low enough to make it! If it is toffee it’s gonna be delicious once you can crumble it up. Put it in hot chocolate!

    • says

      I apparently am the only person in the world who prefers electric to gas, but i didn’t grow up cooking on it, and i find it impossible and annoying to make some things on it (like rice, omg.). You can get flame spreaders for gas stoves which are a life saver for things which need to be simmered or otherwise heated slowly and evenly. I have a cast iron one I bought on Amazon.

  4. says

    Such a bummer! I was planning on try to make caramels(a different recipe though), so I’ll keep on the reader tips in mind when I make them. Thanks for sharing your “fail”! At least you can use the experience to help other people. :-)

  5. says

    This is Aubrey from Oh So Delicioso, (where is recipe is found) sorry you had a poor experience! They look very overcooked. Making candies is hard because it you need to know your thermometer, pans and oven. So lighter pans heat faster. Cooper bottom pans sustain heat longer therefore temperatures should be lowered. If it was your first time ever making them, don’t sweat it. I’ve made these caramels many times, they are always a hit and great for caramel apples. Candy making just takes some practice.

  6. says

    You caramels are definitely WAY overcooked. It looks like your thermometer is not reading accurately. It doesn’t matter what caramel recipe you use if you cook it too long and it gets too hot it will look like that and be rock hard. Its the science of making candy! Did you only try once? That’s another problem, I have read many bloggers who say to try try again, here for example. http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-soft-chewy-caramel-candies-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-180832
    I have made this recipe TONS and know many people who swear by it, and we have MANY commenters who have had much success, so by you making and failing once isn’t fair to have this post up. it was obviously a mistake make on the “making of the caramels” and not the recipe. probably started with your thermometer. maybe it wasn’t fully submerged, or it cooked to hot too fast. many reason.

  7. says

    I am so sorry this happened! I too have made some candy disasters…

    All of the above comments/suggestions are great. I have found that testing the candy thermometer each time I make candy is the best insurance against failure. I have a candy making book and this was one of the main points…check it in a pan of water…water boils at 212 degrees…so if your thermometer reads 200 degrees in boiling water you must subtract 12F from the recipe…(212 minus 200 is 12) Easy peasey. So subtract 12 degrees from the temp called for in the recipe. If your thermometer reads for example 204f when the water boils, and the recipe calls for cooking to 238f subtract the 8 degrees and cook the candy to 230F. I have found that you can fudge a degree or two but not much more than that.

    I hope this helps and is not to confusing….here is a little chart for you to save…

    If water boils at 200F subtract 12F from recipe
    ” ” 201F ” ” 11F
    202F 10F
    203F 9F
    204F 8F
    205F 7F
    206F 6F
    207F 5F
    208F 4F
    209F 3F
    210F 2F
    211F 1F
    212F 0F

    hope I typed this correctly…got tired of putting in the ” so you can add them in… good luck and try again!

  8. says

    So sorry this happened! I second what rocketmom said. Many candy thermometers are not very accurate at all. Being just a degree or two off will really throw your results when it comes to candy-making. This past Christmas I had a friend come over who has always had trouble making caramels. We tested her thermometer and it was over 6 degrees off. We corrected it by testing it, then adjusted her cooking temperatures just as rocketmom described and she had great caramels! I hope you have a chance to try again!

  9. says

    I hope you give it a try again, just aim for a few degrees less on your candy thermometer. I’m curious what your recipe called for – mine says 245°F. Oddly enough, some years they come out a bit soft, some years they are barely cut-able. We’ve found using a pizza cutter (oh, and my husband’s bigger muscles) will do the trick.

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