Monica's favorite gear for
making Caramels
This is the perfect size for making one batch of this caramel recipe.
A handy tool for making uniform portions of these caramels; also cookies & meatballs.
Use as a mold for uniform caramel shapes. Also handy for freezing garlic, ginger, and herbs.
6-oz bottles for drizzling melted chocolate.
Use this for wrapping individual caramels.

Microwave Sea Salt Caramels

They're too easy to taste this good!


Microwave Sea Salt Caramels

By Monica              24-40 caramels
These delicious sweet & salty caramels are chewy, gooey, and creamy. They taste too good to be this easy!

These delicious sweet & salty caramels are chewy, gooey, and creamy. They taste too good to be this easy!

Ingredients
  • 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
  • FOR OPTIONAL CHOCOLATE TOPPING:
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • OTHER OPTIONAL TOPPINGS:
  • Chopped nuts
  • Decorating sprinkles

Directions
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 or molds. Here are 2 options:
1. Line an 8x8 baking pan with aluminum foil, coat the inside with cooking spray, pour in the hot 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.
2. Coat 2 plastic mini ice cube trays with cooking spray. Allow hot caramel to cool for 10 minutes after removing it from microwave. Use spoon or small scoop to fill sections of tray. Place in fridge until firm (40-60 minutes). Invert trays and twist and tap until caramels fall out.

If the caramels are oily from the cooking spray, blot them off with a paper towel.

Sprinkle coarse sea salt directly on top of caramels if not adding chocolate drizzles.

*TIP: ADJUST COOKING TIME FOR YOUR MICROWAVE WATTAGE
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. Click here for a cooking conversion chart for different wattages. (Microwave wattage can usually found on a label that is visible inside of the microwave.) If caramels are too hard, cooking time should be reduced. If they're too soft cooking time should be increased.

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS FOR CARAMELS:
--Drizzle with melted chocolate. Melt chocolate chips with oil in microwave at full power in 20 second intervals, stirring and continuing to cook just until melted (approx. 60 seconds total). Drizzle on caramels with spoon or condiment bottle. While still wet, sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
--Sprinkle wet chocolate with chopped nuts or decorating sprinkles.

STORAGE: Caramels are sticky and easier to remove if stored on parchment paper. Wrap individual caramels in parchment paper or place in single layer on top of parchment paper in covered container. Store caramels in fridge or at a cool room temperature. (They may lose their shape if they get too warm.) If refrigerated caramels are too stiff to eat, bring to room temperature before eating.

Recipe inspired by Cara at TheBoysMadeMeDoIt.com


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It's time for another Secret Recipe Club (SRC) recipe. In case you're new to this, here's how it works. Each of the food bloggers participating in the SRC is secretly assigned another food blog. The assignment is to choose a recipe from that blog, make the recipe (or an adaptation of it) and feature it in a post. The blog matches are a secret to the other blogger until reveal day. That day is today! Make sure you read to the end of this post for links to the other participants and their recipes. Someone will be blogging about one of my recipes, but I don't know who. That's why it's called:

Secret Recipe Club

Thanks to Amanda of Amanda's Cookin' for creating and overseeing this fun club,
and to Angela of Big Bear's Wife for hosting this round of the SRC. 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This month, my assignment was to choose a recipe from The Boys Made Me Do It. It's a fun blog by Cara, the mother of 3 boys and the wife of a chef. Having raised 2 boys, I know all about being outnumbered by men in the house. I can relate. I'm afraid I can't relate to having a chef for a husband. If you've read my early posts, you know that King-Man specializes in making cold cereal (Life cereal, in particular), and that's pretty much it. 

Although Cara's husband is a chef, she is also a great cook and does most of the cooking for the family. Her blog has lots of family-friendly recipes to choose from. After reading through all of them and making a lengthy list of inviting possibilities, I ended up choosing her most recent post for Microwave Sea Salt Caramels. It's a sweet & salty flavor combo that is very popular, but one that I hadn't tried making before. I thought these caramels would be great to make for the upcoming holidays, and I was intrigued with the idea of making caramels in the microwave. Could they really be as easy and yummy as they sounded? In a word, YES! This recipe is incredibly easy, and the caramels are creamy, chewy, and delicious. 

The only slight tweak I made was to add a bit of vanilla and try adding a few toppings. But, I made the caramels in the microwave exactly the way Cara described. My first batch was a winner. I ended up making the recipe 3 times to try different pans and molds, and every batch turned out great. That kind of consistency is the sign of a reliable recipe. So, here goes.

Step-by-step photos for making Microwave Sea Salt Caramels

Step 1. Assemble the ingredients. Butter, white sugar, brown sugar, light corn syrup, vanilla, sweetened condensed milk, coarse sea salt, chocolate chips, canola oil, chopped nuts, & decorating sprinkles (not pictured)

IMG_7124.jpg

Step 2. Cook the caramel.

  • Combine the sugars, corn syrup, vanilla, butter, and sweetened condensed milk in a microwave proof bowl. The bowl should be at least 2 quarts to allow for the caramel to expand as it cooks.
  • Cook it in the microwave on full power for 6 minutes (for soft & chewy texture) or 7 minutes (for firm yet still chewy texture), stopping and stirring thoroughly twice during the cooking time (every 2-3 minutes).* 

*TIP: ADJUST COOKING TIME FOR YOUR MICROWAVE WATTAGE
The recommended cooking times in this recipe are based on my 1100 watt microwave. If yours has a different wattage, you will most likely need to adjust the cooking time accordingly. (I found my microwave wattage on a label that is visible on the inside of the microwave.) Because microwaves vary, there may be some trial and error involved to determine exactly the correct cooking time. Click here for a cooking conversion chart for different wattages that I found online. I don't know if the chart is perfectly reliable, but it may give you some guidance in making adjustments. 

Your caramels should be chewy and easy to eat--not a challenge to your dental work! If they turn out too hard, you need to reduce the cooking time. If they're too soft, increase the cooking time.

IMG_7126.jpg  IMG_7127.jpg

Step 3. Pour the hot caramel into a mold. I'll demonstrate 2 options.

OPTION 1 -- A Baking dish

  • Line an 8x8 baking dish with aluminum foil, making sure the foil extends up the sides. Coat the foil with cooking spray.
  • Pour the hot caramel into the dish and put it in the refrigerator until it is firm enough to cut, 40-60 minutes.

view 8x8 baking dish on Amazon

IMG_7135.jpg  IMG_7136.jpg

  • Remove from the fridge. The firmed up caramel will have taken the shape of the dish, so you can lift by the foil edges to remove the entire piece at one time. Peel off the foil.

IMG_7137.jpg  IMG_7166.jpg

  • Use a large knife to cut the caramel into whatever size you prefer. The photos below illustrate cutting 40 pieces or 24 pieces. If the cooking spray has made them too oily, blot caramels with a paper towel.

Hint: Put the caramel on a sheet of parchment or waxed paper for easier cutting and removal later. Otherwise, it may stick to the cutting board.

IMG_7210.jpg  IMG_7205.jpg

OPTION 2 -- Use mini ice cube trays for molds 

  • After microwaving the hot caramel, let it cool for 10 minutes so that you don't melt the plastic tray. Coat ice cube trays with cooking spray. Spoon caramel into the ice cube sections. I used a small scoop to simplify the task. One batch of caramel yielded 30 mini cube caramel candies.
  • Refrigerate until firm.

Click here for Amazon link to mini ice cube trays.
Click here for Amazon link to small scoop. 

IMG_7128.jpg  IMG_7133.png

  • Remove from fridge and flip trays over, twisting and tapping until caramels fall out. I placed them on a piece of parchment paper to prevent sticking. If the cooking spray has made them too oily, blot caramels with a paper towel.

IMG_7139.jpg  IMG_7141.jpg

Step 4. Sprinkle generously with coarse sea salt. Press it in gently.

IMG_7214 (2).png

Step 5. Wrap individual pieces in parchment or waxed paper and twist the ends. Store in fridge or at a cool room temperature. Parchment paper worked the best for me--the caramels release easily without sticking. 4" x 3" paper rectangles are the perfect size for wrapping 40 lof these log-shaped caramels cut from an 8" x 8" square pan. Store in fridge or at a cool room temperature.

IMG_7215.jpg

Love that sweet & salty combo. Yum!

IMG_7220.jpg

Update about shipping: I had a question about shipping these in the comments section, and I thought this was worthy of mention here so you don't miss it. If you want to ship the salted caramels, I recommend the plain, log-shapped ones pictured above, individually wrapped in parchment paper and twisted on the ends. The wrapping helps the caramels keep their shape and keeps them from sticking together. I don't recommend shipping the decorated caramels illustrated below. They may lose their shape if they get too warm during the shipping process.

Here are some optional ways to add different flavors, colors, and textures to your caramels.

Drizzle with melted chocolate.

Add 1 tablespoon of canola oil to 1 cup of chocolate chips and microwave at 20 second intervals, stopping to stir each time, and continuing to cook just until melted--approx. 60 seconds total.

IMG_0854.jpg  IMG_5611.png

Drizzle on the chocolate with a spoon, or use a squeeze bottle. An alternative to the bottle is to put the melted chocolate in a plastic ziploc bag, push the chocolate down to one corner, twist the top of the bag, snip a small hole in the corner of the bag, and squeeze the chocolate out through the hole.

Click here for Amazon link to squeeze bottles.

IMG_7145.jpg

While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle on some coarse sea salt, if desired. Here are the ice cube tray caramels:

IMG_7144.jpg

And, here are caramels formed in the 8x8 baking dish and cut into 24 pieces:

IMG_7224crop.jpg

Add decorating sprinkles.
You can add decorating sprinkles in holiday or any theme colors.

IMG_7148.jpg

Add chopped nuts.
Add nuts for some crunch and yum. These taste like turtle candies.

IMG_7150.jpg

Make a variety.
Using the ice cube tray molds makes these uniform in size and shape. Add a variety of toppings and arrange them in a single layer in a small box. They'll look like they came from a candy store! 

IMG_7158.jpg

Storage. 
Caramels are sticky and easier to remove if arranged so they don't touch each other and are stored on parchment or waxed paper. Wrap individual caramels in parchment or waxed paper or place in single layer on top of parchment/wax paper in covered container. Store in fridge or at a cool room temperature. They will lose their shape if they get too warm. Refrigerated caramels are too stiff to eat and should be brought to room temperature before eating.

Caution about paper candy cups: I tried inserting the caramels into 2 different kinds of paper candy (mini muffin) cups with mixed results. The caramels stuck to one kind and were impossible to remove without making a mess; but they released fine from the other. These foil ones worked the best of the ones I tried. Cutting small pieces of parchment paper to set them on works even better.

Here's the best part...biting into one of these gooey, chewy, creamy treats. SO, SO GOOD. Too good to be this easy! 

IMG_7195.jpg

Want to give these caramels as a gift?
Check out my post with packaging ideas and printable tags.
Click to view Sea Salt Caramel Gift Ideas & Tags

ThumbnailIMG_7290.png

Thanks to Cara for the caramel recipe and inspiration.

Make it a yummy day!

Link directly to this recipe Print this recipe
Microwave Sea Salt Caramels
By Monica              Servings: 24-40 caramels
Ingredients
  • 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
  • FOR OPTIONAL CHOCOLATE TOPPING:
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • OTHER OPTIONAL TOPPINGS:
  • Chopped nuts
  • Decorating sprinkles
Directions
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 or molds. Here are 2 options:
1. Line an 8x8 baking pan with aluminum foil, coat the inside with cooking spray, pour in the hot 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.
2. Coat 2 plastic mini ice cube trays with cooking spray. Allow hot caramel to cool for 10 minutes after removing it from microwave. Use spoon or small scoop to fill sections of tray. Place in fridge until firm (40-60 minutes). Invert trays and twist and tap until caramels fall out.

If the caramels are oily from the cooking spray, blot them off with a paper towel.

Sprinkle coarse sea salt directly on top of caramels if not adding chocolate drizzles.

*TIP: ADJUST COOKING TIME FOR YOUR MICROWAVE WATTAGE
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. Click here for a cooking conversion chart for different wattages. (Microwave wattage can usually found on a label that is visible inside of the microwave.) If caramels are too hard, cooking time should be reduced. If they're too soft cooking time should be increased.

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS FOR CARAMELS:
--Drizzle with melted chocolate. Melt chocolate chips with oil in microwave at full power in 20 second intervals, stirring and continuing to cook just until melted (approx. 60 seconds total). Drizzle on caramels with spoon or condiment bottle. While still wet, sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
--Sprinkle wet chocolate with chopped nuts or decorating sprinkles.

STORAGE: Caramels are sticky and easier to remove if stored on parchment paper. Wrap individual caramels in parchment paper or place in single layer on top of parchment paper in covered container. Store caramels in fridge or at a cool room temperature. (They may lose their shape if they get too warm.) If refrigerated caramels are too stiff to eat, bring to room temperature before eating.

Recipe inspired by Cara at TheBoysMadeMeDoIt.com
Print this Recipe   Share this Recipe



Posted on Monday, November 21st, 2011








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