Believe me, I was very skeptical about making caramels in the microwave. So skeptical that I tested the recipe several times before posting it here. And let me tell you, the fact that it actually works, and you can make delicious chewy caramel in under 10 minutes, is very dangerous for a caramel lover like me. Just a few tips: first, it should be noted that this recipe is for making caramels in an 1100 watt microwave oven, but chances are, that’s what you’ve got. To prevent grainy caramels, take care to scrape the sides of the bowl well during the stirring process.
Every microwave is a little different, so you may have to increase or decrease the cooking time by 15 seconds or so to get the caramels just the way you’d like them. The original recipe called for 2 cooking times of 3 1/2 minutes each, but I found that my caramels were too hard after cooking that long. Three minutes 10 seconds each time gave me the perfect chewy consistency. If you prefer a very soft caramel, you may want to decrease the cooking time to 3 minutes for each cooking period. But even if your first batch comes out a bit hard or a bit soft, the result will still be delicious!
If you’d like to add chopped nuts, stir those in along with the vanilla. You can also add a sprinkling of sea salt once you’ve poured the caramel mixture into the pan. For a really decadent treat, try dipping the finished caramels in chocolate. The best thing of all though, is that you can have caramels in a matter of minutes, without spending 30 minutes stirring over a hot stove-top with one eye always on a candy thermometer!
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Butter an 8-inch square pan. If you like, you can then line the buttered pan with foil and butter the foil.
- Melt butter in a large microwaveable bowl (microwave for about 1 minute).
- Stir in the corn syrup, both sugars and sweetened condensed milk. Continue stirring until most of the sugar is dissolved.
- Microwave on high for 3 minutes and 10-15 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Return to microwave and cook on high for another 3 minutes 15 seconds. Stir in the vanilla.
- Pour immediately into the buttered dish.
- Allow to sit for several hours until cooled and set. Cut into squares and wrap in waxed paper.
- Two cooking times of 3 minutes each (6 minutes total) should give you a caramel that is quite soft. Three minutes and 10-15 seconds each time should give you a slightly firmer caramel, but it all depends on your microwave. I recommend erring on the side of softer caramels and starting with a shorter cooking time until you figure out your own microwave.