Caramel for Cookies

Makes 3 3/4 cups

Use this recipe to make Congo Bars, Golden Popcorn Squares, and Pecan Caramel Shortbread. It can easily be halved or doubled.


  • 4 cups sugar

  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ½ cup heavy cream


  1. Combine sugar, cream of tartar, salt, and 1/3 cup water in a wide, heavy-bottomed saucepan, with sides at least 3 inches high. Place over high heat. Let cook, without stirring, until sugar begins to melt and turn golden, 2 to 5 minutes. Turn heat to medium; continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until all sugar is melted, deep golden, and a candy thermometer reads 300 degrees.(hard-crack stage). While stirring, carefully pour cream slowly down the side of the pan (stand back slightly from the stove, as the cream may cause the caramel to sputter). When cream is incorporated, remove from heat; transfer to a heat-proof bowl. Use immediately.

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