Homemade caramels...Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without these. I have always made these the 'old fashioned' way...standing over the stove for 2 hours and stirring and stirring. I couldn't love it more! I absolutely LOVE the nostalgic feeling that I have of home. I absolutely LOVE spending the hours cooking for people that I hold dear. I absolutely LOVE having my mother right next to me making them, teaching me, and having the amazing conversations that we always happen to come upon. HOWEVER...this time I tried doing it the easy way! I know...funny how after I told you how much I love making them the old fashioned way that I then tell you how I made them the easy way...ha! My mother in law makes this recipe and loves it, so I thought that I would give it a shot! They ended up just wonderful without all the work...which, when you are in a hurry or just don't have the energy to make the regulars, this is a great go-to. I have to admit, these taste a little different, but just as good! I am sure that I will switch back and forth between these two recipes for the rest of my Christmas's! Enjoy...I hope that you feel the Christmas spirit as you are making these little gems!
2 cubes butter 1 cup brown sugar 1 cup white sugar 1 cup light karo syrup 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
Melt butter in large microwave safe bowl. Add brown sugar, white sugar, and light karo syrup. Then stir in sweetened condensed milk.
Cook in microwave for 13-15 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes. Microwaves vary, you may have to experiment with yours...mine is exactly 15 minutes!
To know when your caramels have reached the correct consistency: Do the soft ball/hard ball test...Fill a small bowl with cold water and ice cubes. Drop about 1/2 tsp. of caramel into the cold water and let sit for 5-8 seconds. Using your fingers, pick up the ball of caramel out of the water; if it stays together and you can slightly squish the ball but not completely mash it, your caramels are done. If the caramel simply slips through your fingers and separates, cook for an additional 1-2 minutes and try the soft ball/hard ball test once again. Repeat until you get the desired consistency.
Remove from microwave and beat for two minutes with electric beaters and pour into a greased 9x13 pan.
Let cool (this usually takes about 2 hours), cut into caramels into desired size and shape, and wrap individually in wax paper.