If I had to choose the PERFECT sweet treat, I would choose chocolate dipped salted caramels.
What is not to love? There is the delectable chocolate, followed by the creamy, chewy caramel, topped with a pinch sea salt that makes my taste buds dance and sing. I have tried a brand sold at a large warehouse store and I just KNEW I could make them even better.
I love the flavor of homemade caramels so this was a must for me to try this year. And believe you me, my friend – you are gonna love this!
Oh, and if you are planning to go to some holiday parties, or need to bring a last-minute gift to a friend, teacher, or neighbour – adding a fun and festive drizzle of white (or red or green) chocolate is a fun touch to a treat that you can’t find at your nearest big box store! I mean, if you’re going to be awesome, don’t go half-way.
Go big or go home!
The best part about these caramels is, there is no need for a candy thermometer, and not pots and pans.
I’m not really on speaking terms with my candy thermometer after a fudge making fiasco – let’s just say we’re estranged. I think thermy might be shacking up with the turkey baster. Whatever. I’ve moved on.
The caramels are made in the microwave and here is what you’ll need:
- 1 c. butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup white corn syrup
- 1 – (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tsp vanilla (opt.)
- 2 cups dark chocolate melts
- 1/2 cup white (or any color) chocolate melts
- 1/8 cup sea salt (for sprinkling)
Are you ready to make some magic? Let’s go!
- In a microwave-safe bowl (medium to large in size) melt the butter, then stir in the white and brown sugar, and the corn syrup. Add in the sweetened condensed milk and stir well.
- Pop that bowl in the microwave and on “High” setting, microwave for about 15 minutes. Disclaimer: every microwave is a tad different in power – mine is a cheap machine and isn’t very powerful, so I microwave it for 20 minutes. The longer you microwave it, the firmer the caramels will be. You might microwave for 12 minutes to start, give it a stir and a peek, (or try the ice water test to see how firm it sets) and give it more time if you need to.
- You will be looking for a slightly darker, caramel color than you started with before you microwaved it, and you’ll notice an aroma of caramel wafting from the microwave. It will be boiling, so use caution when removing it from the microwave.
- Give the mixture a good stir with a spatula and add in the vanilla extract, if using. You could also try something funky by adding a coconut or mint extract instead. Yum! Then pour the mixture into a greased 9X13 pan.
- Leave the caramel to cool on the counter for a couple of hours. You want it to be cool and set before cutting into it. I know, it’s going to take herculean self-control to resist digging right in, but believe me – it’s only going to get even more delicious!
Note: If you don’t want to dip these in chocolate, you should sprinkle on the salted caramel right now. These are amazing as-is! But, I promised some chocolate dipped caramels, and I will deliver!
6. Once the caramel is cool, cut into squares and lay them out on a cookie sheet that is covered in a layer of wax paper. 7. Pour some of the dark chocolate melt wafers into a smaller microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between each 30-second set, until melted. This only takes about a minute. 8. Using a fork or a chocolate dipping tool (yeah, I jus learned these exist) and dip the caramel in the melted chocolate until it is fully submerged, then lift, allowing excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl. 9. Lay the chocolate dipped caramel on the wax paper, and then repeat with the remaining caramels. 10. Once the chocolate has begun to set, you can take the white chocolate melts (or green or red or indigo – be creative!) and melt them in the same manner as you did the dark chocolate melts. Then, using a spoon, or a piping bag, drizzle the chocolate over the caramels. 11. Working quickly, while the white chocolate drizzle is still tacky, sprinkle some sea salt on top. 12. Done! Wait until they are set (doesn’t take long) and then bask in the gloriousness of your creative genius.
I know you’ll love these – they taste SOOOO good, and if you happen to have leftover chocolate, try dipping some pretzels, or licorice, or potato chips! You’ll be a chocolate dipping master, my friend – and your loved ones will thank you for it.
Looking for even more holiday food inspiration to wow your friends at the Christmas parties? Check out some of these ideas: