Who needs store-bought candy when you can make your own?
Just kidding. I'll take a box of See's chocolate any day.
Rum raisin please.
But sometimes it is fun to make your own- especially for Valentine's day or Christmas. For this recipe you will need a strong stirring arm (be ready to stir for half an hour or so) and an uninterrupted period of time. Caramels need lots of attention, so send your kids hunting for snipes or something. You will also need a candy thermometer and access to google to check the elevation of where you live. (More details on that are in the recipe below.)
Full disclosure- I have made these several times without using a thermometer. I am totally not recommending this, but it can be done if you're in a bind. This is the trick: Watch for when you run a spatula through the middle of the pan and the caramel stays separated for just a second before running back together. You should be able to see the bottom of the pan. If you've never done caramels before you may want to follow this up with a cold water test just to double check that your caramel is ready. If you take it off the heat now you'll get a fairly soft moldable caramel that can be wrapped around pretzels or pressed into the insides of chocolate. If you continue to cook for another few minutes or so you will get a slightly firmer caramel that is better for eating by itself.