When you have an ice cream maker, ice cream is incredibly easy to make, you can pretty much toss anything in there, turn it on and in 30 minutes you have a frozen treat (seriously, the recipe booklet that came with mine suggests using it to make frozen daiquiris, and I have a sneaking suspicion that store bought chocolate milk would turn into a great chocolate ice cream). Of course that is just basic ice cream and the fun part is tarting it up a bit and this super easy "Philadelphia style" ice cream (meaning it doesn't have eggs, meaning that it is good for a lazy cook) is an excellent base for whatever mix ins or additions you want to use, such as shards of homemade caramel. And let's just say that my vanilla ice cream with caramel bits in it went over a LOT better than my pumpkin pie ice cream. I used this ice cream as the base and mixed in these caramels.
Start by mixing together 2 cups of milk (I used 1/2 whipping cream and 1/2 milk) with a teaspoon of vanilla and 1/2 cup of sugar. Stir it until the sugar is all dissolved. And that is the basic vanilla ice cream recipe; as the Breyers commercials tell us, you don't need all that crap in your ice cream.
You can chill that mixture for awhile before pouring it into the ice cream machine, but that would require patience and we all know that isn't exactly my strong suit. Anyways, now you just follow the directions for your ice cream maker, mine is electric so I can just watch it swirl around, which is strangely hypnotic and I don't want to admit how much time I can spend staring into it, but you may have to crank yours.
Meanwhile, smash up some caramels with a rolling pin, I would suggest breaking them up into fairly small bits, I wouldn't want them bigger than an M&M, mini chocolate chip size would be good, although my plastic bag started to tear and so I stopped a bit before that stage so as to avoid making a mess that I would need to clean up later.
When your ice cream seems like it is just about ready, add the caramel bits and let the machine mix them in.
You could eat it right away at this point, but I let it hang out in the freezer for about a half an hour before digging in. I don't think that actually made much of a difference.