These soft, chewy Eight Minute Microwave Caramels are the perfect one-bite dessert. In minutes you can make a small batch to share with your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day or double the batch to make last-minute gifts for your friends.
With the New Year upon us, I’ve made a concerted effort not to have as many treats around the house. Having said that, I am not ready to OUTLAW sweets entirely, especially not when Valentine’s Day is today my SWEETHEART has such a SWEET TOOTH. Rather than making large batches of cookies or cakes, I’ve turned to small batch desserts like these yummy Eight Minute Microwave Caramels.
When I was a child, caramels were a treat made only around the holidays. I blame the time involved over the stovetop, constantly stirring and checking the temperature. I cooked up a batch exactly one time before deciding they were way, way too much work for me.
When I first heard of microwave caramels more than a decade ago, I was pretty skeptical. While microwaves are “easy,” I often still use the oven or stovetop – the food just tastes better. However, I decided to take the recipe for a spin and have made it frequently ever since.
Eight Minute Microwave Caramels
The recipe calls for seven simple ingredients, many of which I keep on hand in the pantry. It starts with half cup of unsalted butter, melted in a microwave safe dish. I like to use my large two-quart Pyrex measuring cup with a lid. It’s easy to handle and the lid prevents any splatter.
Speaking of splatter in the microwave, you may be tempted to use salted butter because that’s what you have on hand. I don’t recommend it. Salted butter will splash all over the walls of the microwave (or lid of your Pyrex) leaving more outside than inside the bowl.
Add the remaining six ingredients and stir until smooth. Pop the bowl of ingredients into the microwave and heat for six to seven minutes depending on the strength and temperament of your microwave.
Finally, use a pot holder to remove the dish from the microwave and pour the caramel into a pan. once cooled the caramels can be cut and enjoyed.
Tip: I recommend cutting the caramels with a plastic knife. For some reason a plastic knife seems to work much better than a regular butter knife.
Make these eight minute microwave caramels and eat them plain or for a fun upgrade, sprinkle a bit of sea salt, chopped nuts or chocolate.
Eight Minute Microwave Caramels
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 3/4 tsp vanilla
- Optional: sea salt chopped nuts or chocolate chips
- Butter, spray or line an 8 by 8-inch baking dish.
- Place butter in a large microwave safe bowl (glass will work best) until melted through.
- Add remaining ingredients (corn syrup, white and brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk) and stir until smooth.
- Return bowl to microwave and cook for six to seven minutes at full power, depending on the temperament of your microwave. Be careful not to overcook your caramel mixture or the candy will be too hard. (If you'd like to test your caramel with a candy thermometer, it should read about 240 degrees.)
- Using a hot pad, carefully remove the bowl from microwave. Add in vanilla (and optional nuts) and mix well.
- Pour the mixture into the baking dish. Sprinkle top lightly with sea salt or chocolate drizzle.
- Set aside for 20-30 minutes to cool. To speed up the process, place the caramels into the refrigerator.
- Once the candy has cooled completely cut to desired shape with a plastic knife and serve immediately or wrap in waxed paper or plastic wrap.
- Caramels will keep for approximately one to two weeks.