Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Microwave Caramels

Okay, it's late, officially Wednesday, but since I'm still up, I'm calling it Thursday.  For me, Wednesday doesn't begin until I get up tomorrow morning.

Why am I up so late, you might ask?  Well, my husband finally upgraded his phone - to his first smartphone, an Iphone.  I'm happy for him, except, I am the one who got to do the activation & transfer all of his contacts.  Easy enough, if I had only remembered to backup his old phone first, which I didn't.  So, I just finished entering the last of his contacts.

Now, for a short and quick recipe.  I love, Love, LOVE good caramels!  Their soft, chewy texture, not to mention the buttery goodness that melts in your mouth.  Yummmm!  But, I hate trying to make them.  Anything that I have to use a thermometer, in order to get the right outcome, I tend to balk at.  That's why I almost jumped for joy when I saw this recipe, tried it and it turned out beautifully from the microwave.  THE MICROWAVE!  WHO KNEW GOOD CARAMELS COULD COME FROM THE MICROWAVE?!  Not me, that's for sure.

But, since I didn't know if they were going to turn out, I didn't take any pictures, except the end result.  That's really okay, though, because it was so incredibly simple, there was only one step.

Here's your Cast of Characters.

1/4 cup butter, cut in 8 pieces
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
coarse sea salt (optional)

 Line an 8x8 baking pan with aluminum foil, coat the inside with cooking spray.  In microwave safe bowl (at least 2 quart), add butter, white and brown sugar, syrup, sweetened condensed milk, & vanilla. Stir together and place in microwave, uncovered. Cook in microwave on full power for 6 minutes (for soft & chewy texture) or 7 minutes (for firmer yet still chewy texture), stopping and stirring thoroughly twice during the cooking time (every 2-3 minutes).* Remove from microwave and stir until well mixed. Pour hot caramel into prepared pan.  Sprinkle sea salt sparsely over the caramel.  You only want a hint of salt with the caramel.  Place in fridge until firm enough to remove & cut (approx. 40-60 min). Pull up on sides of aluminum foil and remove the whole slab of caramel at one time. Place caramel slap on cutting board covered with parchment or waxed paper and cut into pieces of desired size.  If the caramels are oily from the cooking spray, blot them off with a paper towel.  (I cooked mine 6 1/2 minutes and they were soft.  Next time I would cook them another 15 - 20 seconds.)

The recommended cooking times in this recipe are based 1100 watt microwave. If yours has a different wattage, you will most likely need to adjust the cooking time accordingly. Because microwaves vary, there may be some trial and error involved to determine exactly the correct cooking time.