Here is the recipe (I got it from my friend, Leslie..she used to give me little gift bags of them that I'd hoard for myself before I finally asked for the recipe!)
Leslie's Homemade Caramels: (for the full sized recipe, just half the ingredients if you want a smaller size)
In a LARGE heavy kettle
4 cups white granulated sugar
4 cups light Karo syrup
3 cans Carnation evaporated milk
1 cup butter
1/4 tsp salt
2 teaspoons good vanilla
Boil on medium heat: sugar and syrup to 245 degrees with a candy thermometer.
Add butter and stir until melted.
Add milk VERY SLOWLY to keep from curdling.
Boil again on medium heat to 240 degrees. This takes time! (like 25 minutes-nice to have a backup stirrer if you are lucky) Be patient and get all the way to 240 degrees or they won't harden properly. You need to stir the whole time. Leslie uses a wooden spoon, but I use a metal one with a flat end so you are scraping the bottom well as you stir so you don't scorch the caramel on the hot bottom. not sure if they have flat bottom wooden spoons, but that's what I'd use if you have one. Get the whole bottom as you stir.
Add the vanilla and salt when you get to 240 degrees and pout into a PARCHMENT papered jelly roll pan to completely cool before cutting and wrapping into caramels.