1. lightly grease your desired candy mold. if using a baking dish, lightly grease the dish then grease parchment paper and lay it into the dish, leaving excess parchment hanging over the edges—this will allow you to remove the candy easily once it’s cooled. attached a candy thermometer to a medium sized (3-5 quart) pot—for an accurate reading, make sure the thermometer doesn’t directly touch the bottom of the pot!
2. in your pot, mix together the cream, sugar, brown sugar and corn syrup. turn the heat to medium and, using a wooden spoon, stir gently but constantly. when the mixture comes to a boil, quit stirring and reduce the heat to med-low.
3. cook until the temperature reads between 245-250ºF. do not stir while the candy comes to temperature. instead, gently swirl the pot occasionally to avoid scorching on the bottom. (TIP: remove the sugary ring residue that forms around the pot edge by brushing down with a pastry brush dipped in warm water—this will prevent crystals from forming in your caramel.)
4. when the candy comes to temperature, turn the heat off and stir in the butter, salt and vanilla extract. when everything is well incorporated, carefully pour the caramel into your prepared candy mold or baking dish. (TIP: sprinkle on rock salt for delicious salted caramel!)
5. allow caramel to cool completely before removing from the mold/dish. if using a baking dish, use a knife soaked in hot water to cut into pieces. wiping the knife in between cuts will prevent a sticky mess! wrap individual pieces in parchment paper and store in an air tight container.