When I was a wee one, Halloween was but one night, and you only got to wear your costume once, perhaps twice if it fell on the weekend and your school had a Halloween party (Ours did, it was a carnival called the..."Halloweenie"). Today, there's ample opportunities to wear your costume before the big day. Danny's costume was really nothing more than clothes he already owned, and a purple scarf stapled to his top hat. I thought someone might give him crap about the cigarette holder, but no one did. For Friday night, I'll use an eyebrow pencil to draw on a monocle for that extra detail.
You Will Need:
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup corn syrup (You can use Golden syrup, but they come up harder)
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk (I used 2%, but whole is OK)
1 cup unsalted butter
Coarse salt to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a large, heavy pot heat everything except the salt and vanilla over medium heat, stirring frequently until sugar dissolves. Bring slowly to a boil and cook to 248 degrees F. I rely on a thermometer rather than ball tests with water. If you are good with that sort of thing, keep doing what works for you. Meanwhile, generously butter an 9x13 heat-proof pan (I use a corningware casserole). Lightly salt the pan.
When caramel reaches 248 degrees F. Remove from heat, and stir in the vanilla. It will sputter, so be careful. Quickly pour it into the prepared pan. You won't get it all out of the pot-and pushing it with a spatula will make it rumple and crease funny in the pan, so just let it cool and pick at it as a treat for the cook. After you pour the caramel, salt the top again lightly. Let it set undisturbed until cool. You will see a bit of butter pool up around the edges-that is good. It will help it out of the pan, and keep it from sticking to the wax paper you wrap it in. While the caramel cools, you should cut about 50 small squares of wax paper for wrapping.
When cool, nudge the caramel out of the pan (you may need a heavy spatula, or a knife). It may lose shape a bit, but it won't matter at this point. I find it easier to use a large heavy chef's knife to cut the slab into six strips, then do the remainder of cutting in pieces with kitchen shears. No matter what you use, it will be sticky (that's the nature of caramel). Wrap tightly. They keep well, if you can hide them well enough. Otherwise, you may wish to make a second batch.