Saturday, November 20, 2010

Easy Peasy Microwave Caramels

My fruitcake is done, and is being fed on a regular basis as I speak, well, today's the day it gets anointed with a little bit more bourbon, and then it will be re-wrapped and left to rest a week or more.   Okay, so it's getting an extra shot today, as I'll not be able to feed it next week, but it should all even out. 

I was thinking about making cookies next, but realized I really don't eat a lot of cookies, and everyone else bakes a whole bunch every Christmas.  And since I do live in a confined area, I really don't have room for all the cookies I used to make every year.  So, this year, I'm doing candy.   Some tried and true recipes, and will also try a couple more that look good.

My favorite go-to, tried and true candy recipe is Microwave Caramels.   Honestly it takes more time to set it up and clean it up than it takes to make this.    And the end result, pure and simple deliciousness.

Microwave Caramels
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup light Karo syrup (I used dark since that's what I had on hand)
1/2 cup Eagle brand milk (sweetened condensed milk)  *

In a large glass 2 quart container melt butter.

Add the sugar, Karo syrup and milk.

Cook two minutes on high and stir. Cook two more minutes on high and stir.
As you can see, it gets really bubbly and hot.   Please be careful removing it from the microwave at this point,  as you can get some severe burns if you spill it.   Stir it down well, and return to the microwave.

If you want your caramels to be soft, cook an additional minute. For harder caramels, cook for an additional two minutes. ( When I make these, I do cook an additional minute or two, I like my caramels a little harder and find they are too soft for my taste otherwise.)

This year I tried something a little different.   I toasted some Pecans, added them to the bottom of the buttered dish, and poured the slightly cooled caramel over top.   After taste-testing a few, I've decided to do this again and again, I have too, I just ate half the pan.   

Pour into a buttered small glass dish and let them set up. (I poured them into a buttered rectangle-shaped pan and then cut them in squares) 
After they have cooled, you cut them into little squares or rectangles or ...   and take them out of the pan.
At this point I wrap them in little squares of parchment paper.

I like doing it like this as it makes it look festive, and most important, keeps the caramel from oozing together back into a big lump.    I keep these in a bag in my fridge until it's time to give them away.
Unfortunately for me, they are also within reach and I feel the need to sample one or two every day to make sure they are still edible.  hmmmm  So it means I make at least two batches, or more each year. 
* You can get two batches out of one can of sweetened condensed milk. 

Enjoy and have fun with your cooking experiences as well. 

For more recipes please check out   

All about food. *giggle*

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