There are some things that almost seem too good to be true. When one of my patients gave me this incredibly simple recipe for microwave caramels, I couldn’t believe that they would actually work, but I was so wrong! They are wonderful and so, so easy. (Seems to me I said pretty much the same thing about that Microwave Peanut Brittle recipe…).
These caramels are soft and delicious and perfect. They are everything I could ever want in a caramel. I can’t make myself stop eating them. And since they are so easy to make, I could just keep on making them and eating them until my hips wouldn’t fit through the doorway.
I keep saying how easy these are to make, and I really mean it. I almost felt like I was somehow cheating when I made them because I didn’t have to stand over a pot and stir and time and stir and test and stir and watch the thermometer. Then to have my very first batch of microwave caramels turn out so well was just plain ole eery. Who does that?
I wish that I could thank that patient who gave me this recipe. I wish that I could sit and chew on caramels and talk to her about things not related to orthopedic surgery. That would be fun.
Note: Do not double this recipe. Doubling affects the cooking times and it is difficult to adjust the times correctly.
A note about sugary or grainy caramels: If you find that your caramels are sugary or grainy, it is because sugar crystals were reintroduced to the caramel candy after it was cooked. The uncooked sugar causes sugar crystal regrowth in the finished product. To prevent this from happening, during the stirring processes, be careful to scrape the sides of the bowl well so that all of the sugar crystals are cooked with caramel. An alternate process for controlling sugar crystal regrowth can be found on the recipe Caramel Butter Sauce. It involves brushing the sides of the bowl with a wet brush during the stirring process.
Microwave Caramels (For an 1100 watt microwave oven)
Recipe by ??????, one of my former patients
- 1/2 cup butter (real butter, not margarine)
- 1/2 cup light Karo Syrup (don’t use dark)
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
- Line either an 8 x 8 baking dish or a 9 x 5 loaf pan with foil. Butter the foil.–An 8 x 8-inch pan will give a thinner candy, 9 x 5-inch loaf pan will give a thicker candy.
- Melt butter in large microwave bowl. (I used a glass bowl.)
- Stir in Karo syrup, both sugars, and sweetened condensed milk.
- Mix until most of the sugar is dissolved.
- Microwave on high for 3 1/2 minutes (that’s 3 minutes and 30 seconds)
- Stir down and scrape sides of bowl.
- Microwave on high 3 1/2 minutes. (This will be soft ball stage.)
- Stir in vanilla and nuts (if you are using nuts).
- Pour immediately into buttered dish and refrigerate until set.
- Remove from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before cutting. The caramels can be left plain or decorated at this point by dipping them in chocolate and then in chopped nuts, sprinkles, etc. Wrap each piece in wax paper.