Saturday, April 4, 2009

Bull's Eyes

I haven't had a Goetze's Bull's Eye caramel in over 2 years. For some reason, they have wheat in them. I have tried searching for a copycat recipe that I could modify to be Gluten-Free but came up empty handed. I could only find copycat recipes for some sort of BBQ sauce (not exactly what I had in mind). So instead I made my own! I used a recipe for caramels and a separate recipe for the cream filling. The resulting caramels from this recipe are much more creamier than authentic Bull's Eyes and I think they taste better for it. These are also terrible for you, so don't eat too many.

  • 2 cups Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 cup Condensed Milk
  • 2 cups Light Corn Syrup
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 2 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Butter, softened
Cream Filling:
  • 1/8 oz unflavored Gelatin (1/2 an envelope)
  • 2 tbsp Cold Water
  • 1/2 cup Shortening
  • 2 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Powdered Sugar, for dusting
  1. Prepare a 9x9 pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Combine the cream and condensed milk in a small saucepan and place the saucepan on a burner set to the lowest heat setting. Do not allow to boil, just keep warm.
  3. In a medium-large saucepan combine the corn syrup, water, and granulated sugar over medium-high heat.
  4. Stir the candy until the sugar dissolves, then use a wet pastry brush to wash down the sides of the pan to prevent sugar crystals from forming and making the candy grainy.
  5. Insert a candy thermometer and reduce the heat to medium. Allow the mixture to come to a boil and cook until the thermometer reads 250°F.
  6. Add the softened butter and the warm milk-cream mixture. The temperature should decrease about 30°F.
  7. Continue to cook the caramel, stirring constantly so that the bottom does not scorch. Cook it until the thermometer reads 244F, and the caramel is a beautiful dark golden brown.
  8. Remove the caramel from the heat and immediately pour into the prepared pan. Do not scrape candy from the bottom of the saucepan. Allow the candy to sit overnight to set up and develop a smooth, silky texture.
  9. When you are ready to cut the caramel, place a piece of waxed paper on the counter and lift the caramel from the pan using the foil as handles. Flip the top of the caramel onto the waxed paper and peel the foil layer from the bottom of the caramel.
Cream Filling:
  1. Dissolve unflavored gelatin in cold water.
  2. Set in heat proof cup in pan; Simmer until clear.
  3. Let cool.
  4. Cream together shortening, powdered sugar, and vanilla.
  5. Add cooled gelatin and beat for 10 minutes.
  6. Here comes the time consuming part. Cut a large amount of wax paper rectangles. Try around 3" x 3", adjusting once you get the hang of it.
  7. Take a small piece of caramel, about half of a cubic inch, work into a doughnut shape.
  8. Take a small amount of cream filling, about the size of .5" diameter sphere, and press into center of caramel. Dust caramel with powdered sugar. This will prevent the caramel from sticking to the paper and your hands.
  9. Shape the caramel into a less flat figure and place into center of wax paper square. Wrap paper around caramel.
  10. It will take you a few tries to get the technique down. Don't worry about less than perfectly shaped caramels, just eat them! (My stomach hurt after making these, heh).
  11. I ended up with 105 caramels and used about 4/5 of the cream filling. It took me 2.5 hours alone to wrap all of them. I'd recommend enlisting some help. Try bribing some children with promises of candy...


Elizabeth Barbone said...

Hello! One of my readers just e-mailed me your blog entry! It is fantastic. I'd like to profile it on my blog and web site, if you don't mind.

If you are interested, could you send me an e-mail? Along with the post, it would be great to have a quick q&a. My e-mail address is info @

Elizabeth Barbone

Kansas A said...

Wow they look really good... and you must have a ton of patience! :)
My kids would love to help, so I'm tempted to make these... I'll let you know how they turn out.

legoman666 said...

Heh, thanks. I had no idea what I was in store for when I started wrapping them. It was only after the first 15 taking 20-30 minutes that I realized I was going to be in the kitchen for a while ;)

Anonymous said...

sweetened condensed milk? or evaporated milk?

legoman666 said...

sweetened condensed milk

Anonymous said...

what do you mean by a cup in a pan. do you put water in the pan in a mug on the stove?

legoman666 said...

Take a glass cup (with the cold water and gelatin in it) and stick it in a pot of water on the stove and heat until the gelatin dissolves. You could do this in the microwave too.

Anonymous said...

k thanks!

Anonymous said...


legoman666 said...

Cool! Worth the trouble?

catherine said...

this is the ONLY recipe i've ever seen for this candy -- i made caramel the other night and thought it would be a shame to not attempt to make my favorite version (a la goetze) -- so i'm making this tonight, thanks for the post (my brothers will appreciate it, too, they're all wheat intolerant).

Anonymous said...

This looks like an awesome recipe. Is there any way to make a thin tube of the filling and then wrap a long rectangle of the caramel around it, to then just cut up like a jelly roll rather than forming each individual one?

nathansmart said...

I love this recipe - I use it all the time! Although, I use a different, more buttery caramel recipe that really adds to the great flavor of the cream. I even added some cherry extract and citric acid to the cream to make a little cherry filling. I'm going to use apple next to really hammer this recipe home!

Nikkiyork said...

I was only looking for the cream filling part of this recipe when I found your blog. Based on the commercially made version I think they lay the caramel on a cookie sheet/ roll pan put filling in a line down the center and then roll the caramel over the filing. then slice it like you would salami to get piece with creme in each on. I think you might also me able to do a pinwheel if you simply spread the center out. this may save you a ton of time. I'll let you know when I have tried it. Thanks for the recipe!

Careen Rife ( said...

I found a way to make caramel without stirring over a hot stove. not so sure how it would work for this though. take a can of sweetened condensed milk, place it in a pot of boiling water. make sure can is COMPLETELY covered with water at all times and let the water boil for 2 or 2 1-2 hours (I let it go for 2 and a half hours). pull can from the pot using tongs and let the can cool down completely. open carefully after cooling (I let it cool for 2 hours only because I had to run errands lol) and viola! delicious caramel without burning!

Dawn Elkins said...

Here's a way to save a lot of time:
press out flat, some of the caramel mixture on waxed paper about 1" X 12"
Use a pastry bag and piping tip, squeeze a string of the cream mixture down the center of your sheet of caramel. pull the sides of the caramel sheet and press together to make a tube around the cream center. Gently roll it to seal the seam up. Then just slice up into individual bite size pieces. WhaLa!