Making caramels is a labor of love. There is so much time involved and the timing is so precise...Swirling and swirling and swirling the sugar and water together, waiting for it to turn golden brown, making sure that it doesn't burn...Stirring the cream and butter, making sure it is melted and warm, but not so warm that it scalds...Mixing everything together when it is all just right and then stirring and waiting and checking the thermometer until it measure the exact correct temperature...and that is just the cooking part!
After it is done cooking, you still have to pour it, let it cool, remove it from the pan, sprinkle it with salt, cut it into pieces, cut wax paper to the right size and then wrap wrap wrap wrap them up.
Then, if you like to present things in pretty packaging, you have to make labels for the little bags.
Luckily all of the labor is worth it because they are delicious and seem to make our friends and family happy. This year we quadrupled this recipe. Hopefully by next year I'll be ready to start the process again. We have made caramels for the past 2 Christmases, so it is becoming a tradition for us. They are such a decadent treat!