Caramels

1 cup margarine or butter
2 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
2 cups light cream
1 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla


Line 9 x 9 x 2 baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan
Butter foil and set aside
In 3 quart saucepan, melt margarine or butter over low heat
Add brown sugar, cram and corn syrup, mix well
Cook and stir over medium high heat to boiling
Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan, cook and stir mixture over medium heat to 248 degrees, firm ball stage, about 45-60 minutes
Remove saucepan from heat and remove thermometer, stir in vanilla
Immediately pour caramel mixture into prepared pan
When mixture is firm, use foil to lift it out of pan, cut into 1 inch squares and wrap each caramel in clear plastic wrap

Variation: for walnut caramels, sprinkle 1 cup chopped walnuts onto the bottom of the buttered pan

Variation: For caramel apples, wash and dry 14-16 small tart apples, prepare as above except do not pour caramel mixture into prepared pan, dip each apple into hot caramel mixture, turn to coat, place on baking sheet and chill