Soft, chewy, buttery Microwave Caramels couldn't be easier to make with some basic pantry ingredients, 10 minutes, and the microwave! No candy thermometer needed in this foolproof recipe!
These soft, chewy, sweet Microwave Caramels are made quickly in the microwave. The recipe is completely fool-proof, but the caramels turn out perfectly! They're ridiculously easy to make and have the perfect soft, chewy, caramel texture.
Microwave caramels make delicious holiday treats, a perfect recipe for a cookie and candy exchange, or even a tasty and thoughtful gift, and no one will ever guess how easy it is to make them!
Do I Need a Candy Thermometer?
No. Read below to learn to test whether your microwave caramels are done without the use of a candy thermometer.
If you already have a candy thermometer and would like to use it for this recipe, caramel should be cooked to soft-ball stage which will be 238°F-242°F with the thermometer.
Why Are My Caramels Too Hard?
If you find your caramels too hard, the candy mixture got too hot. Next time, cook it for 30 seconds to a minute shorter.
Why Are My Caramels Too Soft?
Basically, the opposite of them being too hard, caramels can be too soft if the mixture doesn't get hot enough.
Testing for Doneness
How Do You Know if Your Caramel is Done?
For soft, chewy caramels, you want to cook it to the soft-ball stage.
Perform a test by dropping a small ball of caramel into a glass of cold water. Be sure it's cold water because the cold will help it cool quickly and show you what texture it will be when it has cooled and set.
The caramel should hold together in a ball and be pretty soft. Determine if the caramel is the consistency you would like. If caramel is a little too soft still microwave for another 30 seconds to a minute, then check again.
What Should I Wrap My Microwave Caramels in?
Wrap your caramels in wax paper, not parchment paper. They will stick and be impossible to remove from parchment paper.
Garnish for Your Caramels
To make these caramels extra pretty and tasty, garnish with a drizzle of melted chocolate, finely chopped nuts, or a sprinkle of sea salt. Or get even more creative with a sprinkle of crumbled bacon or crushed pretzels.
Can You Dip Microwave Caramels in Chocolate?
Yes, you can. Refrigerate caramels for about 30 minutes prior to starting.
Melt chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl with about a ½ teaspoon cooking oil or shortening in 30 second intervals, stirring between each increment, until completely melted.
Set a chilled caramel flat on a fork (don't poke it) and dip into the melted chocolate. Wipe the excess chocolate off the bottom of the fork by sliding it against the edge of the bowl. Transfer dipped caramel onto a sheet of wax paper and let set until chocolate is hardened.
More Candy Recipes You'll Love
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- Oreo Truffles - rich and indulgent Oreo truffles use just a few ingredients for a gooey Oreo filling dipped in chocolate.
- Rolo Pretzel Turtles - the simplest of all candies. These turtles need only 3 ingredients are quick and easy to whip up (the kids can help!)
- 2 Ingredient Peanut Butter Fudge - the easiest fudge of all time, and no one will even know how easy it was. Tastes just like classic, homemade peanut butter fudge.
Microwave Caramels Video
- ¼ cup unsalted butter cut into 4 pieces
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Butter an 8x8-inch baking dish. Set aside. Prepare a shallow cup or bowl of cold water with an ice cube. Set aside.
- Place butter in a large microwave safe glass or ceramic bowl. Heat in microwave until melted.
- Add corn syrup, granulated sugar, brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk, and salt to melted butter. Whisk well to combine.
- Return to microwave and cook on HIGH power for 5 minutes. Use hot pads to remove from microwave (Bowl will be hot).
- Stir and test for doneness by dropping a small bit into the cold water and checking its shape and texture (use your fingers and taste to determine.) If not done, cook for an additional minute and test again until desired consistency is reached.
- Using hot pads, carefully remove bowl from microwave, and stir in vanilla extract.
- Pour mixture into prepared baking dish, sprinkle top lightly with sea salt if using.
- Let the caramel cool until firm. (about 2 hours)
- Carefully remove the slab of caramel from the pan and cut into 1-inch squares. Wrap in wax paper to prevent sticking.
- Cook time: Cook for the lowest time first, then stir and check for doneness using the test below. Cook time will vary depending on size and types of bowls and microwaves, so it's important to test.
- Test for Doneness: Perform a test by dropping a small ball of caramel into a glass of cold water. The caramel should hold together in a ball and be pretty soft. Determine if the caramel is the consistency you would like. If caramel is a little too soft still microwave for another 30 seconds to a minute, then check again.
- Storage: Store wrapped in waxed paper to prevent from sticking together.
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