I don't know if people will thank me for posting this, or hunt me down because they've become addicted to them! These are so good, they should be illegal! These caramels are extremely fast to make and extremely good! I don't see why they couldn't be substituted in any recipe calling for store-bought wrapped caramels. They are a spinoff from the Creamy Caramel Microwave Popcorn recipe by VillageMom (Creamy Caramel Microwave Popcorn). I love the caramel corn, but I love the caramel even more! I made these for candy trays I'm giving out for Christmas 2005, and liked it so much I figured I'd better post it...so I don't ever lose it or forget what I did! That and I need to share the addiction (insert evil laugh). Make sure you use GOOD QUALITY (Reynold's) heavy duty aluminum foil, as I used a cheaper brand that definitely wasn't the "heavy duty" it was advertised to be...and wound up picking aluminum foil pieces off of the caramel. The number of servings is approximate. Cooking time does not include time for the caramel to cool (before cutting)
- Note: If possible, recruit an extra person or two to help cut and wrap the caramels. It can be done on your own with no real problem, but extra hands make the job easier. If you are doing the wrapping and cutting on your own, I would advise doing it in stages: cut all the wax paper squares, then cut the caramel into individual pieces, then wrap them according to directions. Rinse your hands occasionally with hot water, then towel-dry, to remove any residual stickiness.
- Butter an 8x8 inch pan. Line the pan with foil, folding any excess over the outside edges; set aside.
- Mix the butter, brown sugar and corn syrup in a microwave-safe glass bowl or measuring cup. I use my 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup or my 8 cup Pampered Chef measuring/mixing bowl, both of which have a handle.
- Microwave on high for two minutes.
- Stir mixture and return to microwave for two minutes longer.
- Add 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk and stir well.
- Microwave three and a half more minutes.
- Remove from microwave and stir in 1/2 tsp vanilla.
- Pour into prepared pan, scraping any residual caramel from the sides of the bowl. Be careful not to touch the caramel, as getting a sugar burn would put a real damper on your day.
- Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
- While the caramels are cooling, cut the wax paper squares; set aside. Note that the number of servings is dependent on how large/small you cut the caramels.
- When the caramel is cooled, remove foil liner from the pan via the foil "wings" folded over the top of the pan.
- Cut into approximately 1 inch squares with a well-buttered knife or dough scraper, being careful not to cut through the foil.
- Butter your hands well, then place one caramel in the middle of a wax paper square. Roll it into a cylinder, then twist the ends.
- Store the wrapped candies in a cool, dry place.
This recipe is really wonderful. I used it to make caramel and chocolate covered pretzels and chocolate covered caramels. I started out making the caramel the traditional way on the stove, but discovered my candy thermometer was broken. This recipe allowed me to keep cooking and gave me a wonderful tasting caramel. I made this once using 1/2 cup white sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar and once using all brown sugar and found that the all brown sugar version had a slightly richer taste. I also doubled the vanilla to 1 tsp. This recipe is so simple and quick that anyone can make their own caramels. I also second the suggestion of using a good quality aluminum foil. I used Reynolds Release with very good success. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe.
If I could give this a 10 start rating I would. I have made three batches of these caramels, trying to put them away for Christmas but everyone keeps wanting more. I used to use another recipe but needless to say this one is a keeper. These caramels are so delicious, and yes additictive. Using parchment paper works wonders - to problems getting them out and the caramels do not stick. My next batch will be dipped in chocolate. Thanks so much for posting this recipe, it's a keeper!!
I doubled the recipe and had a little trouble with it being cooked long enough. You may need to use the cold water/softball technique to be certain.