Sea Salt Caramels | Midwest Living

Sea Salt Caramels

Sea Salt Caramels

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  • Yield: 100 caramels
  • Hands On 1 hr
  • Total Time 3 hrs

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Caramels made in the microwave? Absolutely! And the only gear you need is a candy thermometer. Be sure to use crunchy coarse salt that doesn't melt into the candies.


  • Butter for greasing pan
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup light-color corn syrup
  • 1 14 - ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 -2 teaspoons flaky sea salt


  1. Line a 3-quart rectangular baking dish with foil, extending foil over edges. Butter the foil; set aside. Place butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, condensed milk and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on 100% power (high) for 4 to 5 minutes or until butter is melted, stirring every minute. Microwave for 9 to 16 minutes more or until a candy thermometer inserted in center of mixture* registers 245 degrees (firm-ball stage).** (In a 1000-watt microwave, begin checking temperature at 8 minutes; in a 850-watt microwave, start checking at 12 minutes.)
  2. When candy reaches firm-ball stage, stir in vanilla. Pour into prepared dish. Sprinkle top of caramel mixture with sea salt. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours or until firm. To slice, use foil to lift caramel out of the dish. Cut into 100 pieces with a buttered knife. Wrap caramels in squares of waxed paper, twisting ends. Store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.


  • *Thermometer tip: To get an accurate reading, gently swirl the thermometer through the mixture to stir it slightly, then hold it in the center. Do not leave the thermometer clipped to the bowl.


  • **To test for firm ball stage: Shortly before reaching temperature, dribble a small spoonful of the hot mixture into a bowl of cold water. Using your fingers, form the mixture into a ball. Out of the water, it should hold its shape but will flatten quickly. If mixture is too soft, microwave for 1 minute more, then retest using a clean spoon and fresh water.


  • They're delicious on their own, but they play well with flavor variations when you stir in the vanilla, consider adding a teaspoon of orange zest or a half-cup of finely chopped walnuts, dried apple or pretzels.

Nutrition Facts

(Sea Salt Caramels)

iron (mg) 0, vit. C (mg) 0, chol. (mg) 6, Thiamin (mg) 0, sat. fat (g) 1, Riboflavin (mg) 0, carb. (g) 10, Niacin (mg) 0, Monounsaturated fat (g) 1, Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) (mg) 0, Polyunsaturated fat (g) 0, Folate (µg) 1, Trans fatty acid (g) 0, Cobalamin (Vit. B12) (µg) 0, fiber (g) 0, sodium (mg) 12, cal. (kcal) 58, sugar (g) 10, Potassium (mg) 22, Fat, total (g) 2, pro. (g) 0, calcium (mg) 16, vit. A (IU) 67

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