Monday, May 27, 2013

Easy 7 Minute Microwave Caramels

Soft, chewy, good flavor and all your dental work in place?
Sounds like successful caramels to me!

I've been hearing about microwave caramels for a while.... 
OK, so I didn't hear it, I SAW in on Pinterest!  
I will admit it.  
Still, It was intriguing to me.  I found a bunch of variations online, so I decided to play with the recipe myself to see how it worked out.  I thought this was such an easy thing to do, it's definitely something I am going to make again, and again.  Perfect for the holidays, but this made my whole family happy on a recent family barbecue, so don't wait for Christmas to try it.

You can see that I salted the top of half mine with some flaked sea salt.  Yum... everyone thought I should have done all of it with the salt.  I like choices though... next time I might add chopped macadamia nuts, or something yummy like that. Or dip the finished pieces in melted chocolate...  

II you like very firm and chewy caramel, you might try another minute in the microwave, but be careful, you could be left with a very hard, inedible batch of caramels.
I need to say a couple of things about safety.... this recipe could be really dangerous.  Kick the kids, cats, dogs and anyone else distracting out of the kitchen.  And put down your wine... 
I recommend using a 12 cup bowl (I needed the whole thing with it bubbling up...) with a handle, and even then, use potholders.  This stuff will burn and STICK if it gets on you.  Very serious stuff.  Be careful. 

About the 7 minute combined cooking time... every microwave does vary with power, so if you have a powerful one, you are probably right on with the 7 minute thing, otherwise, I might do a couple extra minutes.  With each 2 minute cooking session, you should see some pretty extreme bubbling.  Stir and repeat microwaving until you are done.  Knowing what "done" is happens to be the hardest part of the recipe. 

Makes a 9x13 pan of caramels, about 80 pieces

1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup corn syrup, like Karo (any color)
1 cup sweetened condensed milk

Prep your pan, I used a bit of butter to "anchor" the parchment paper to the bottom.  I also used spray "Pam" on the glass pan too.

In a large microwave safe bowl (I used a 12 cup with a handle) melt the butter for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from the microwave and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well. 

Place back into the microwave and cook on high for 2-3 minutes. Take the bowl from the microwave and stir well. 

Continue cooking on high for an additional 2 minutes, remove and stir. 
Cook for 2-3 more minutes. 
Remove from the microwave, stir and pour into a 9 x 13 pan to set. 
Let sit for 8-12 hours at room temperature, or in the fridge. 
Once caramel has set up and is firm, wrap in small pieces of wax paper and store in an air tight container.

I left it to cool for about 2 hours and then in the fridge for a couple hours.  I used a big knife (a cleaver) to cut it into squares. 


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