Makes 32 to 40
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 teaspoons flaky sea salt, such as fleur de sel
1. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil. Spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the cream, sugar, and corn syrup. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar melts. Turn the heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to boil. Stop stirring. Clip a candy thermometer onto the saucepan. Cook until the mixture turns a golden tan color and the thermometer registers 253 degrees (the temperature will continue to rise a few degrees off the heat).
3. Immediately remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the butter, vanilla, and 2 teaspoons of the salt and continue stirring until the butter melts.
4. Pour the caramel into the pan. Wait a few minutes. Then sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Let stand at room temperature until the caramel is firm enough to cut.
5. Holding onto the foil, lift the caramel out of the pan and place it on a cutting board. Using a chef’s knife or metal scraper, cut the caramel into small squares or rectangles. Wrap individually in 5-inch squares of parchment or wax paper, twisting the ends to tighten. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks. Adapted from “Sugar Baby’’