Boiling sugar is not as easy as boiling water. For one thing water doesn't burn. And it also doesn't form crystals. Last year, I really struggled with making peanut brittle until I turned to Mark Bittman, one of my favorite food writers, for his guidance on this tricky treat. This year I really hit my stride with getting the sugar boiled but not burnt.
In addition to the brittle, Phineas has been wanting to make home made caramels for ages. So, this was our second project, and again we turned to Mark Bittman. It was easier than the brittle, and the results are wonderful. Homemade caramels have a lovely texture - softer than store bought - and a rich, buttery vanilla flavor. We sprinkled a good amount of sea salt on the caramels to really enhance the sweetness. It's a lovely contrast. MMmmmm.
When it gets to the "softball" stage (245 deg) pour into a greased pan