I've always been a little intimidated to put sugar and cream into a pot and let it steep up to a whopping 245 degrees. But recently I decided to be a little daring. And this was the wonderful product...
Chewy Caramels-recipe from The New York Times
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, more for greasing pan
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Lightly grease a 9-inch-square baking pan. Combine all ingredients except vanilla in a broad saucepan or deep skillet and turn heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves.
Attach a candy thermometer and keep cooking and stirring until mixture is dark, nearly brown, and measures 245 degrees F.
Stir in the vanilla and pour into prepared pan. Cool, then remove from the pan in a block and refrigerate, but not for too long. What you want is a mixture cool enough so that it's not too sticky, but not so cold that it's solid: this is the easiest state in which to cut and wrap.
Use a sharp knife to cut caramel into pieces, then wrap each square in parchment. These keeps for weeks (psshh...like they'll last that long) but are best eaten fresh at room temperature.
Makes at least 50 caramels.