from a cookbook published by the women's group at a local church:
2 3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 stick butter
1 tsp vanilla
Melt and brown 3/4 cup sugar in small iron skillet over medium-high heat. Simultaneously bring 2 cups sugar and evaporated milk to a boil. Pour melted sugar into milk and sugar mixture. Cook to soft ball stage (use a candy thermometer). Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla. Beat to spreading consistency. Ices 8- or 9-inch cake or 48 small cake squares.
Notes from my latest venture: This recipe works best (as do most caramel icing recipes) if you make it when the weather is good - high pressure systems yield better results. If you're forced to make this when there are thunderstorms beating down on your roof, as I was, be prepared to add some powdered sugar while beating the mixture in order to thicken it up. Also, don't try to heat things up too quickly by turning the stove up to high. Take your time, so it won't splatter your hand and burn it. Results are sinfully delicious.