or at least eat Texas Millionaire candy? Tis the season you know and that’s the ONLY time we have this particular kind of candy in this house. Why??! Because it’s addictive and has about a million calories per bite. But wow what bites they are. In spite of its being Tuesday and not Recipe Saturday, I’m throwing this one at you so you’ll have time to get to the grocery store and purchase all needed ingredients. It’s not terribly expensive but then compared to a box of that icky store-bought candy, maybe it is. The taste however justifies all labor and costs. Let me be frank here. NOTHING compares to this candy. Nothing. Oh, Grandma’s fudge is still great and Aunt Ethel’s divinity is heavenly but Millionaire candy is just AMAZING!!!!
Have I talked you in to it yet? Come on. You know you want to try it. In two easy steps you’ll have candy that your children will praise you for eternally. You’ll be famous. You’ll thank me. So, get out the grocery list pad and here we go!!!!
TEXAS MILLIONAIRES-Thanks to the Walker Family
2 cups white sugar
1 3/4 cups white Karo syrup
1-12 1/2 oz can Eagle Brand milk/sweetened condensed milk
1 cup butter (butter NOT margerine)
2 teaspoons vanilla (real vanilla)
1-14 oz package of Kraft Caramels
4 cups coarsely chopped pecans
Place all of the above ingredients in a large, heavy pan, except the vanilla and pecans. (I use a 4 qt Farberware aluminum-clad pot.) Start your DVD. BTW, we’re going to time this whole process according to BBC’s “North and South”, starring Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe. No, it is NOT the Civil War one. Trust me on this. You’ll love it. If you don’t have it, get it. Can’t make this candy w/o it. Just kidding. Sort of. But it does make the time go by faster. Also, you’ll need an ample supply of Diet Coke or whatever it is you like. And you need a stool to pull up to the counter in order to save your feet, knees and back. And don’t forget to make an appointment with you chiropractor next week. You’re going to need it after all of this candy making, wood chopping, house cleaning, gift wrapping….but I digress.
Copper pots are supposed to be better, but WOW, have you seen the prices of those dudes?!!) Over low heat (my stove setting is at 2 for the duration and yes, it’s electric), bring to a boil stirring constantly. That means…do NOT let go of that spoon. At all. Not even for a minute. This stuff scorches so fast you wouldn’t believe it. Ask me how I know. If it does scorch a little, it’s ok. Don’t throw out the candy. You won’t taste it unless it’s REALLY scorched. A little scorch blends in nicely with the pecans. I promise.
Cook to a soft ball stage (120-140 degrees on your candy thermometer)…have a small cup of water close by and drop a small amount from a teaspoon into the water. If you can roll the candy around with your finger into a ball, you’re good to go. It’s going to take at least 30-40 mins. Timing yield a la North and South will bring you in at about hour 1, 3/4 of the way thru. Is this movie good or what?
Add 4 cups of chopped pecans to the hot mixture, mix well and pour into a buttered 9×12 Pyrex dish.
Cool for couple of hours, then place in the refrigerator overnight or for about 2 hours, till candy is firm. The colder, the better. I’ve even stuck in the freezer to speed things along. And you are now ready to start Hour 2, disc 1. Prepare yourself for romance in hour 2!
Meanwhile….In a double boiler, melt milk and/or dark chocolate chips or wafers w/a bit of paraffin…OR…in microwave, melt according to package directions, chocolate wafers that you’ll find in the candy making dept at Hobby Lobby in a microwaveable glass bowl. You may need to add a little paraffin in this also. It keeps the choc. from melting immediately in your fingers. I usually melt about 1/3 a bag of wafers at a time and stir in between nukes. The spoon you stir w/will be needed to help coat the candy later.
Then take a bench scraper/dough scraper and cut the pan of candy into small pieces, about 3/4″ x 3/4″ thereabouts. Remove 1 row of cut candy from pan with a small paring knife. The first row is always a pain to get out. Place the cut candy on top of the uncut so it doesn’t get too warm. The cooler your candy is, the easier it is to dip!
Using a candy dipper thingy (you can find them at Hobby Lobby back in the candy making dept.) or a fork, quickly dip the caramel candy into melted chocolate, bounce the excess choc off by tapping the dipper on the bowl edge then place it onto wax paper to firm up.
The dipping part of this recipe is the most unfun part of the whole deal. The only way you can make it better is finish watching North and South while you dip. =0) Wait until you get to the ending. Amazing!!!
I do the dipping in 2 or 3 phases and store all of the dipped candy as far from the house as possible. I don’t need temptation to be close or handy. And then I swear the Big Boss to secrecy so nobody finds out I have Millionaires made and available. I dole it out to only the dearest and appreciative friends and relatives. My stash is in the freezer. Although experience has taught me that it thaws very quickly. And nobody has to know that the container of candy that was once full is now half full. Or half empty. However you want to look at it.
At this point, North and South should be over..or nearly, depending on how many times you’ve had to stop it for a phone call, mailman at door, hungry Big Boss who has been cleaning snow out of bunks all morning or hungry grandkid who has just shoveled snow off your porch and sidewalks. Ain’t life grand?!!!!