When the leaves start to change and the air gets a chill, certain flavors start to tingle my taste buds. Pumpkin (of course!). Cinnamon. Nutmeg. Caramel. Mmmmmm caramel. When I came across a recipe for crock pot caramel last winter I was mesmerized by the idea I could make my own. But the best part was how EASY it was.
– a crock pot
– 2 cans sweetened condensed milk
– 3 small mason jars (I ended up using a 4th larger jar to mix up the chocolate, but you could use any glass container.)
I also used a teaspoon of sea salt and dark chocolate chips. I made 3 different flavors: plain, salted, and chocolate. To make the plain, you pour the evaporated milk into the mason jar and screw the lid on tightly. Done.
To make the salted you fill jar with evaporated milk leaving about an inch on top. Then add a teaspoon of sea salt. Put the lid on the jar. Done!
I used 1/4 cup of Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Chips. I used dark chocolate because the caramel is very sweet and I think the bitterness of the dark chocolate compliments it quite well. I layered the chips in the milk in the hope they would melt evenly.
Put the jars in the crock pot. Cover with water to right above the level of the milk. Set it on low and leave it for 8 hours. I did it over night.
When I woke up I turned off the crock pot and removed the jars. CAUTION: They will be VERY hot. Be careful when handling them, please.
As you can see, my chocolate chips didn’t melt all the way. No problem! I gave it a stir and poured it into a bigger jar so it was easier to mix up.
The texture of the salted and the chocolate is not as smooth as the plain, but it tastes so good you don’t notice! I served it with graham crackers and apples. I got great feedback on all of them. (This is a great way to generate some smiles during a lunch meeting!). The chocolate flavor has qualities of hot fudge. The salt and sweet combo of the salted caramel was noted. And the plain was delicious on tart apples. But the fun doesn’t stop there! It’s also delicious on ice cream. I’ve used in cupcakes. My next version will have pecans. What would you serve it with or add to it?