2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
1/2 cup SALTED butter
2 cups cream
In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, butter and 1 cup cream. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, to soft ball stage. To test, put some cold water in a bowl. Spoon some of the candy mixture into the bowl. Let it cool, then try to form a ball in the water. When the candy forms a ball that holds together under the water, that is soft ball stage. If you lift it out of the water, it just kind of melts and spreads in your hand, but under the water it forms a ball. At that point, keep stirring while you very, very slowly pour in the other cup of cream. Just stream it in so that the mixture keeps boiling all the while. Then cook until the candy is hard ball stage. Again, get a bowl of cold water and use your spoon to put some candy in. When it forms a ball in the water and that ball holds together out of the water, it is hard ball stage. The candy changes very quickly at this point, so work fast. Pour immediately into a buttered 9-inch pan. If you want you can have chopped pecans waiting in that pan. That is optional. I prefer it without nuts. Let cool without disturbing for several hours. Then, cut and wrap in saran wrap or waxed paper. I use clean kitchen sheers to cut the caramels. It is so much easier than a knife. If your caramels are too soft- no problem. Just put the candy back in the pan and add another cup of cream and try again.
I know most candy makers use a candy thermometer. I've never had good luck with them. The old-fashioned cold water test works best for me. Merry Christmas!