Each year for the past 5-6 years I've made sea salt caramels around Christmas time. They are so tasty and everyone loves them. Usually they don't last long which is why I make 2 batches just in case. Well today was sea salt caramel day!
I found the basic microwave recipe on-line several years ago but made a few tweaks to it which made it almost fool-proof.
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Wax Paper (for wrapping up the caramels)
In a large glass bowl melt the butter (approx. a minute or two). To the butter mix in brown sugar, sugar and corn syrup. Mix until blended well. Pour in the can of sweetened condensed milk and again stir until mixed well. I usually mix until I can't see any streaks of the s. c. milk.
Place your bowl in the microwave and nuke it for 8 minutes on high.
Carefully take the bowl out of the microwave and thoroughly stir.
Return to the microwave for an additional 5 minutes on high.
Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir well; immediately pour into a pan lined with parchment paper coated with butter.
OPTIONAL - Sprinkle sea salt over the pan of caramel. Use as little or as much as you like.
Let cool - I usually place it on a hot pad for 5-10 minutes then put it in the fridge for an additional 15-30 minutes (time really depends on the weather, humidity, fridge temp). It should be fairly cool - still pliable and definitely not hard.
While the caramels are cooling I usually cut the wax paper into pieces. Now nobody tells you about HOW to wrap the caramels and let me tell you the first year I did this they looked like a mess.... Caramels were coming unwrapped, sticking to everything - it was just awful but they were tasty - LOL!
So here's what I do - Pull off 5-6 sheets of waxed paper approx. 24" long. Now you have a stack of wax paper in front of you in a landscape orientation - starting at the bottom edge (nearest you) cut the stack into 6" strips. You should now have 6 piles of wax paper - turn the wax paper so it is again in a landscape orientation - cut into thirds. Repeat with each stack of wax paper. This will give you a good supply of wrappers. It's a pain in the rump to have to stop mid-way to cut additional wrappers - trust me...been there done that!
Now comes the fun part (not!) - cutting and wrapping up each caramel!
I cut the caramel with a pair of kitchen scissors rubbed with butter. Slice off a "log" of caramel - I usually try for about 1" wide log (more on that later). Just start with one log - it's easier to work with smaller quantities at a time.
When I first started making caramels I used to try to cut them all at once and by the time I had wrapped about 10 caramels the rest of the caramel had oozed back together making one heck of a mess. Working with one log of caramel at a time solved that issue.
Then cut the log into individual pieces...as you can see - it's not an exact science. Since the caramel is still pliable you can "fix" the misshapen ones by gently forming. If they are really messed up - go ahead and eat the mistakes - after all you wouldn't want to serve your guests inferior caramels would you?
How do I wrap them? Like this...
Place a caramel in the center of the wax paper wrapper.
Fold up the bottom portion
fold over the top portion
Take hold of the very end of one side, pinch and twist -
this twisting action will naturally draw the paper in towards the candy.
Flip it over and again pinch the ends of the wax paper and twist.
You now have your first lovely piece of Sea Salt Caramel.
Reward yourself with a piece of caramel...just not the one you wrapped - LOL!!
Now you'll want to repeat these steps for each piece of caramel. Remember up top when you're cutting up the caramels how I said to cut the logs into 1" wide strips - well the more you wrap and the longer you go you begin to feel like you're Lucy working at the chocolate factory (click if you want to see the clip) By the end of my 2nd batch of caramel the pieces start getting pretty large.
If you like caramels you really should give them a try -
they are wonderful!