1/2 cup unsweetened baking cocoa powder
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light cream or evaporated milk
1 cup clear corn syrup
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans, optional
In a heavy 3-quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Blend in the cocoa powder and remove from the heat. Add the sugars, cream, and corn syrup; mix together well.
Cook the mixture over medium heat until the sugars are completely dissolved; stirring constantly. Using a candy thermometer, cook to 240 to 248 degrees, stirring occasionally. (If you don't have a candy thermometer, that temperature is the firm ball stage.)
Pour the caramel into a 9-inch square dish* that is lined with a piece of well buttered aluminum foil. Sprinkle the pecans over the top, pressing down lightly so they will stick. Allow to cool overnight or all day.
Remove the caramel to a cutting board; carefully peel away the foil. Using a sharp wet knife, cut caramel into small squares. Wrap each caramel individually in plastic wrap.
*If you prefer thinner caramels, pour the hot mixture into a 9 X 13-inch pan instead of a 9-inch square pan.
Yield: 3 lbs caramels
Note: This is a file photo.