Okay, this recipe isn't perfect. The caramel turned out more like sugar daddy's, so a caramel sucker, than soft chewy caramels. But, my boys couldn't stop eating them, so I figured it was still a hit. I cooked the caramel to about 240 degrees (the soft ball stage on my thermometer), but I think if you don't cook it as long it will turn out much softer. I did however make a really yummy caramel sauce using half of the caramels I made, I have the recipe for that below as well.
Caramels (adapted from BHG)
1 cup dairy free (soy free, if needed) margarine
2 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup dairy-free sweetened condensed milk
1 cup light-color corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
Line an 8x8" or 9x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Generously grease the foil. Set pan aside.
In a 3-quart heavy saucepan, melt margarine over low heat. Add brown sugar, milk, and corn syrup; mix well. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Reduce heat to medium; continue boiling at a moderate, steady rate, stirring frequently, until the thermometer registers 240°F (takes about 20 minutes or less). (Adjust heat as necessary to maintain a steady boil and watch temperature carefully during the last 10 to 15 minutes of cooking as temperature can increase quickly at the end.)
Remove saucepan from heat; remove thermometer. Stir in vanilla. Quickly pour mixture into prepared pan. Let stand about 2 hours or until firm. When firm, use foil to lift it out of pan. Use a buttered knife to cut into 1-inch squares. Wrap each piece in waxed paper or plastic wrap. Store at room temperature.
1/2 batch caramels (from above)
1/4 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk
In a double boiler melt caramels and milk together until smooth. Store in a airtight container in fridge. (My boys absolutely loved this sauce with apples).