What you see here is the delicious beginnings of caramel. Here is simply a combination of sugar, water, & corn syrup. As we have talked about before, candies tend to all contain multiple variations of sugar. Not that anyone is complaining of course:) A little bit of salt is added and the mixture bubbles in the copper kettle until everything is properly melted and smooth.

Above are soy flakes, which are very similar in appearance to butter.

We know everything is better with butter! As you can see, caramel is no exception!

Here, Mary is whisking in the sticks of butter. As they begin to melt, they actually “foam” up, very neat!
Here is a video of the process of evaporated milk pouring through a sieve into the kettle. This is a slow, constant process. The evaporated milk is a lot like cream and acts the same way in this recipe.

Here, the metal rods have been precisely set out in order to hold the caramel once it’s poured. This will ensure the caramel doesn’t spill out and that the caramel pieces are the proper size and thickness.
Additionally, peanut oil is spread out on the marble tabletop so that the candy doesn’t stick to the counter.
This video shows the caramel about midway through. The continuous mixing will continue until the mixture reaches the “magic temperature”. Of course I can’t tell you what that temperature is!

As you can see, the mixture drastically reduces and thickens as the process continues and the temperature climbs.

Here is the almost-final product, once it has reached the proper temperature. The heat will be turned off, but the mixing will continue until the temperature goes back down to another precise temperature.

The final ingredient, vanilla, is added. And it smells AMAZING!
Here, Barb and Mary pour out the caramel. The copper kettle and caramel together are quite heavy (and very hot) so 2 people are needed to complete the process.

Here, the caramel is being smoothed out to ensure consistency. The marble countertops were purchased specially due to marble’s ability to maintain its cool temperature.

Here is the final caramel, in its resting place until the next morning. At that point, it will be cut and this specific batch will be used to make our mock turtles! Yum!