Crazy delicious homemade caramels in less than 15 minutes (hands on time)! Everyone who tries them will be begging for more!
Have you ever wanted to be famous? If that’s something you always thought might be fun, have no angst! It’s closer than you might think! In fact, all you have to do is pull out a bowl. Make sure it’s microwave safe. Grab some butter too. If you can get a hold of some really good butter, it’s even better. You know, better butter is always better. You’ll also need brown and granulated sugar, dark corn syrup, condensed milk and vanilla. That’s pretty much it.
Oh, and some nice flaky sea salt. If you can splurge a little bit, pick up a box of Maldon. It’s a wonderfully flaky sea salt that comes from Maldon, England, located on the Essex coast, about 50 miles north of London. It’s definitely more expensive than regular, kosher and even other types of sea salt, but it’s totally worth it. Maldon is not the kind of salt you want to use for everyday cooking, but rather as a “finishing salt”. So a little goes a long way, which means your little salt indulgence will last a long time.
What’s a finishing salt? Well, pretty much just what it says; a salt that’s used on finished foods. Or for finishing food. Like these 8 Minute Microwave Salted Caramels. A little sprinkle of flaky sea salt adds an over-the-top, gourmet touch to these over-the-top delicious caramels. Maldon has large, but parchment thin, irregular-shaped crystals and a delightful crunchy texture. It’s the fastest dissolving of all salts so despite the wonderful texture, it literally melts in your mouth. When using flaky sea salt, take a pinch and crush the crystals between your fingertips letting the little flakes fall on salads, bread, pasta, meats, fish and … caramels!
If you’ve ever made homemade caramels you know that it’s not a walk in the park. The instructions are generally long and involved and you need take precautions so the mixture doesn’t crystalize and/or burn. Cooking too fast can cause the butter to separate, and you can easily go over the recommended temperature, resulting in rock hard caramels. This microwave technique, in contrast, is super simple. Combine the ingredients, microwave, stir, microwave again, then check for doneness. That’s about as tricky as it gets.
So where does the famous part come in? Honestly, once you make these caramels, it won’t take long. They’re creamy, buttery, sweet, salty and addictive. Of course there’s the assumption that you’ll share them. When you do, you’ll be sure to get requests for more. And that’s not a problem since they’re so darn easy. Pretty soon your family and friends will be calling them ____’s (fill in your name) caramels. See what I mean? Famous.
If you think I’m spoofing you about how easy they are, just check out our video:
See what I mean, easy peasy, right?
The only thing that will take a bit of time with these caramels is wrapping them. But you can make that fun by eliciting family and/or friends for a little party. Call it a (w)rap party and who knows who might show up! How do you wrap these little morsels of deliciousness? There are lots of options. You can cut your own wax paper, use precut wax paper, cut your own parchment paper or use precut candy wrapping papers like these clear cellophane wrappers or these twisting papers.
Make this buttery, sweet, salty irresistible confections soon! And if you decide to share them, keep lots of butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and condensed milk in your stash. Your fame will spread faster that you can say 8 Minute Microwave Salted Caramels!
What I used to make and serve this recipe:
For your Pinning pleasure:
- 6 ounces butter I use salted butter
- ¾ cup dark corn syrup
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
- ¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- flaky sea salt I love Maldon
- 1. Spray an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray then line with parchment paper so that two two ends extended over two edges of the pan. Set aside. Prepare a small bowl of water with a few ice cubes and set aside.
- 2. Place butter in a large microwave-safe bowl* and cover with a paper towel. Cook on high power for one minute. Butter should be mostly melted. Add corn syrup, sugars, sweetened condensed milk and salt and whisk well to combine.
- 3. Cook on high power for 7 minutes. Remove and give mixture a quick stir then check for doneness by placing a bit (a small spoonful) of the caramel into the prepared bowl of ice water. It should form a soft, pliable ball. If it needs a little more time (it doesn’t form a soft ball), return to microwave and heat in 15-20 second increments, till soft ball stage is reached. Mine was done at right around 7 1/2 minutes but time will will vary a bit based on the wattage of your microwave. You can also check with an instant thermometer which should register 240-242˚F (240˚ will yield a softer caramel and 242˚ firmer. Carefully remove bowl from microwave (it will be hot - that’s why I love the Pyrex with the handle). Add vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract and stir with a heat resistant spatula until foaming subsides.
- 4. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Allow to cool for 10 minutes then sprinkle top lightly with flaky sea salt (I like Maldon) If you sprinkle with sea salt right away, the salt will melt right into the caramels rather than sitting on the top. Allow to cool for 3-4 hours or refrigerate until completely cool and set. Cut into rectangular pieces (I cut into rows about 1/2-inch wide and then cut each row into three equal pieces). A pizza cutter works wonderful for cutting caramels. Wrap in rectangles of wax paper, parchment or pre-cut candy wrappers and twist on both ends.
*I love the 2 quart pyrex measuring cups with a handle for cooking in the microwave. The handle never gets hot even with a recipe like this with 240˚F caramel. Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy