Preparation / Directions:
* Use red and green candied cherries, cut in half, as an optional decoration for the top of caramel squares.
1. In large saucepan, combine the sugar, salt, cream, butter (best to use butter instead of margarine for this recipe) syrup and chocolate. Bring to a gentle boil over low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture reaches 248 degrees on candy thermometer, or to the firm-ball stage when a bit is dropped into cold water. 2. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract and pecans halves. Butter an 8-inch square pan and pour in the candy. Press 32 cherries, cut in half, on candy if desired. Cool candy until firm. 3. Cut into 1-inch pieces (should be 64), leaving a cherry half on each piece. Place each piece on wax paper or in paper candy liners found at cake decorating supply stores or gift shops.
Serving Ideas : Make these a few days before Christmas for gifts.