I have seen this crock pot/slow cooker caramel trick all over the place for a while now, but I have wanted to try it with my homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk (check that out if you haven’t already, because it’s so easy). I was having a little ice cream party for some girls I plan activities for, & finally got the chance to make this caramel for that.
Although I was nervous the first 7 hours of the cooking time, it actually turned to caramel in the 8th hour & IT. IS. GOOD! So thick & smooth good! I actually had to thin mine a little bit to make it drizzle-able. Use this caramel for ice cream, or on brownies, with apples, or any dessert recipe that calls for caramel. Have fun with it!
- 1 (14oz) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
- A towel if using store bought aluminum cans of sweetened condensed milk
- Half Pint Mason Jars if using Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk; you can also pour the canned milk into the jars. (Tip: The shorter the jar the easier it is to cover in your crock pot.)
- Heavy Cream; for thinning if desired
- If you are cooking in the can, remove the label and put a towel underneath the can(s) to prevent rust stains in your slow cooker. (Do NOT open the can until after it's cooked.)
- If using mason jars, pour condensed milk into the jar(s) top with lid(s) & and tightly close with canning ring(s).
- Fill crock pot completely with water; enough to cover the top of the can(s) or jar(s).
- Cover crock pot with the lid and cook on low for 8 hours or until preferred caramelization is achieved. (Mine turned to caramel right at the end in the 8th hour, so don't freak out if it looks white for a really long time.)
- If you are using Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk, it may look foamy on top once you've opened the lid & that's ok. Stir it up while it's hot because it will smooth out. Also, you can add heavy cream, 1 TBSP at a time, to thin the caramel for drizzling purposes or if it is too thick for your liking.
- After cooling, refrigerate up to two weeks.
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Recipe instruction taken from Who Needs A Cape? and adjusted slightly by: Amber (Dessert Now, Dinner Later!)
A quick note about canning: Although this caramel is made in canning jars, it is not being “canned” during this process. I actually don’t recommend canning caramel or chocolate sauce at home. Home canning only works with high acid foods, and caramel or chocolate sauces are definitely not in that category. Trying to can these in a hot water bath without refrigerating the cans would put you at risk for botulism once consumed. These products can only safely be canned in a professional processing facility with specialized equipment and usually the use of preservatives. They are still really fun to give away as gifts, but make sure the recipient understands to keep it refrigerated & consume it within a couple weeks; writing an “expiration date” & refrigeration reminder on top the the lid might not be a bad idea as well. Enjoy!