Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Microwave Caramels

Ohhhhh Pintrest, you are a semi-ridiculous obsession.  If you have not heard of Pintrest, man are you lucky.  Basically what it is, is an online corkboard where you 'pin' things you like.  You can have what I imagine are an unlimited amount of boards. 

A few boards that I have are: Dinner, Let's Do Lunch, Breakfast, Drink Up, Spook-tac-u-lar, Bake Me A Cake, and Winter Wonderland.  They are pretty obvious what I have been pinning to each board.  Basically items that would fall into dinner ideas, get pinned to Dinner, lunch to the Lunch board, and Halloween items to the Spook-tac-u-lar board.  Pretty simp - right?  And super addicting.

I literally can waste about an hour a day on that site, on my nifty little iPhone.  If you know anyone that has a Pintrest account, they can attest, that they waste so much time on it.

Well one day back in March or something I came across a Pin for Microwave Caramels that I pinned to my 'Treat Time' board.  Takes only 6 minutes and five ingredients, and you don't have to fuss with a thermometer.  Perfect, because I don't own one of those anyways. 

So I started out, and I swear I always screw up when a recipe calls for x cups of butter.  Plus I hate when it does not indicate if it's salted or unsalted butter.  I know when you bake, generally you use unsalted, but why can't you just indicate if I should be using salted or unsalted butter in the recipe!!! Shoot.. 

At any rate the recipe calls for a 1/4 cup of butter.  I look at the package it says blah blah 1/4 cup of butter.  Perfect.  So I put the whole stick in.

I start melting the butter and the rest of the ingredients.  And at the 3 minute mark, it looks like there is an awful lot of butter in it, what an oil slick.  I have made taffy and caramel before, and I know this is not going to form a cohesive substance no matter how long I have this in the microwave or let cool.  So I scratch my head and think to myself, Self, what the heck went wrong here....  let's look at this again.. okay, 1/4 cup of butter. I re-read the stick of butter, 4 tbs = 1/4 cup, okay.  Look at the stick again.. oh.... there are 8 tbs in a stick.  Why the heck didn't they just say 1/2 stick of butter!!!

SHOOT. Gosh.  Man, sometimes I wish I could comprehend things better.  Well, let's double this biotch.  So I dump in the rest of the ingredients again, to make it double.  And start heating/stirring it up.  I cooked it a little longer because I needed to make sure it all got hot enough to the boiling or whatever that traditional caramels need... and then I decided I would put some in a couple of silicone ice trays that I had that were in the shapes of stars.  Well, doy.  Of course I am going to burn myself with the extremely hot caramel, why wouldn't I? I mean, I have been doing so well with this super simple recipe so far.

Once I have 12 little silicone stars filled, I dump the rest into the buttered 8 x 8 Pyrex, and throw them all in the fridge.  Other people said they wouldn't leave it in there for 20 minutes, so I kept checking them to see if they were hardened enough. 

Uh. No.  I checked at every 5 minutes for an hour.  They were not hard enough.  Then I moved to checking at every half hour. After 2 hours, they were not solid enough.  I would cut through them with a knife, and they were never solid enough to keep the cuts visible.  So I left them overnight, and put the silicone trays in the freezer.

This morning I checked on them, they were sort of ready?  I pulled them out and cut them, and took each piece out, and layed them seperately on a piece of plastic wrap.  And threw them back in the freezer, because I could see they were wanting to relax, spread out again.
Caramels after being in the freezer all day.
They taste good.  I mean, they are soft.  I think it would be super delish to put over ice cream, or throw on some popcorn, well, maybe the popcorn will be too messy yet, since it never really set up.  But it's good, put it in your coffee for a lovely caramel coffee treat.  But yeah, not worth trying to wrap up in individuals.  Too many things went wrong with this to tell if it's user error, or what.  Plus it's in a microwave, and microwaves vary greatly.

Try a different recipe that I have previously posted, check out the ones that are not a fail in my book.
I might make this and then a fudge sauce and then put them in some jars, and give as Christmas gifts or something for an ice cream topping gift.  It really would be good.

The silicones?  I threw them away, caramel stuff and all.

So.  Fail for what I wanted them to be.  But success for ice cream or coffee.  Have you tried this recipe?

*Update*  I dipped the frozen caramels in melted chocolate, to see if the chocolate would hold them together to make them something you could put in a dish or something, it sort of worked, I should have made sure I had a thick coating on them.  The caramel was soft like in a Milky Way bar.

1 comment:

  1. I've made these before but added vanilla which I think made a big difference! Try it out!