Why does my chewy caramel always come out like a paste, in between caramel sauce and a chewy caramel?

Basically I follow this recipe, but I always get a pasty caramel as a result! https://www.inspiredtaste.net/8947/salted-caramels-recipe/

Any insight would be appreciated. Am I pouring too thick of a layer?

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Liz D. January 1, 2020
My guess is that you are not cooking the mixture to a high enough temperature on the second cook, and /or it's humid where you are. The cooking drives water out of the syrup, but sugar attracts water, so if it's humid it's harder to get rid of the extra water. If there's too much water left in the syrup, you will get a candy that is too soft. I would try cooking it to a higher temperature, and also use a cold water test---drop syrup into cold water, it should form a firm but not hard ball. https://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/candy/sugar-stages.html ball
 
Dona December 31, 2019
This is the recipe I use from Fine Cooking
Honey Caramels
Candy
Makes Yields about a hundred 3/4-inch-square-caramels ∙ Source Finecooking.com
INGREDIENTS

1-2/3 cups heavy cream
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
4-1/2 oz. (1/4 cup plus 3 Tbs.) honey
1-1/2 oz. (3 Tbs.) unsalted butter, at room temperature; more for the pan
1/2 tsp. table salt
DIRECTIONS

Butter an 8×8-inch baking pan, line the bottom with parchment, and butter the parchment well Don’t worry if the parchment pops up a bit, the weight of the caramel will press it back down.

In a small saucepan, heat the cream with the vanilla over medium heat until it comes to a simmer. Reduce the heat to very low and keep the cream hot.

Heat the sugar with the honey in a 4-qt. or larger saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally with a long-handled wooden spoon, until the sugar is mostly dissolved and it starts to boil, 4 to 5 minutes.

Stop stirring and brush down the sides of the pot with a clean pastry brush dipped in water to dissolve any clinging sugar crystals.

Clip a candy thermometer to the pot and let the mixture boil, without disturbing the bubbling sugar, until it reaches 305°F, 2 to 5 minutes. Rinse any clinging sugar off your spoon and dry it with a towel.

Add the 3 Tbs. butter and the salt. Slowly stir in the warm cream. The mixture will boil furiously and bubble up considerably as soon as you begin adding things: Just keep slowly and steadily pouring in the cream and stirring. By the time all the cream is added, the temperature of the mixture will have started to drop. Continue stirring, watching the thermometer closely, until the temperature is back up to 250°F. Take the pan off the heat.

Immediately pour the hot caramel into the prepared pan. Do not scrape the pot. What sticks to the pot should stay in the pot.

Set the pan on a rack in a cool part of your kitchen. Don’t disturb the pan until the caramel is fully cool and set, at least 5 hours, but preferably overnight.

Run a table knife around the edges of the pan and turn the caramel out onto an oiled cutting board. Peel off the parchment. With a chef’s knife, cut the caramel into 100 squares (about 3/4 inch each) and wrap them snugly in cellophane or other candy wrappers. Once cut, the caramels will slowly lose their shape, so it’s important to wrap them right away.

Make Ahead Tips

The wrapped caramels will keep for about four weeks if stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

NUTRITIONAL INFO

Sample Size based on 100 servings
Calories (kcal) : 30
Fat Calories (kcal): 15
Fat (g): 2
Saturated Fat (g): 1
Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0
Monounsaturated Fat (g): 0.5
Cholesterol (mg): 5
Sodium (mg): 15
Carbohydrates (g): 4
Fiber (g): 0
Protein (g): 0

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