I love this recipe. It's so easy and you can make the caramel as hard or as soft as you like. If you want to just eat it like candy, then boil it longer. If you are going to use it as a topping for ice cream, apple crisp or to dip apples in, don't boil it as long.
First, melt 1 cup of butter. If you don't want brown flecks in your caramel, don't let the butter scorch like I did :-(!
Add 2 1/4 cups brown sugar, 1 cup of light corn syrup, 1/8 tsp. salt, and 1-15 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk (whoever invented this stuff should get a medal). Bring to a boil and heat to 245 degrees fahrenheit.
Remove from the heat and add 1 tsp. of vanilla. Beat for a few minutes.
Pour into a buttered 9x13" pan. Let cool and cut into squares while still slightly soft. Store in the refrigerator. See the little brown flecks? That's because the butter scorched. You don't want yours to look like that!
If you just want the caramel as a topping, let cool and then pour into a airtight container and refrigerate. Just heat up if it gets too hard.