My friend Wa is coming over to spend the night with her almost two-year-old son, and after the kids are asleep, we’re going to break out a bottle of wine and catch up. I don’t know about you, but for me, late-night wine drinking is incomplete without a decadent dessert. So, I decided to make one of my favorites: Sea Salt Caramel Covered Strawberries from Steamy Kitchen. With the help of the microwave, making these takes just a few minutes.
- One box of strawberries (about 10 large or 16 medium)
- 20 caramels (I got Kraft brand; they’re little individually wrapped squares, found in a yellow bag in the candy aisle)
- 1.5 tablespoons whipping cream
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup coarsely chopped mixed nuts (I got a package of chopped peanuts and a package of slivered almonds in the baking aisle at the store and mixed them together in a shallow bowl)
- Baking sheet lined with lightly greased wax paper (do not skip the greasing part!)
- Optional: Lollipop sticks or those wooden spears you see in the original recipe. The sticks make it easier to twirl the berries in the melted caramel (and they make eating the final product less messy).
1. Rinse the berries. Steamy Kitchen gives the tip of dunking the berries in a bowl of ice-cold water to revive the stems and make the berries a little firmer, which is a good idea. For the caramel to stick, the berries should be completely dry, so be sure to pat the berries dry with a paper towel (and maybe let them sit on the countertop for a few extra minutes afterward).
2. Unwrap the caramels (duh!) and place in a microwave-safe bowl with the whipping cream and sea salt. Microwave at one-minute intervals at 50% power until melted, stirring after each minute. For me, it took 2 minutes and 20 seconds.
3. Dip each berry in the melted caramel mixture so that half of the strawberry is coated. Immediately twirl the coated berry in the dish of chopped nuts. Set the berry on the lined baking sheet and repeat all steps until the berries are used up. Please note that you may have to reheat the caramel for just a few seconds (5-10) periodically.
4. Let the berries rest for 15 minutes, then serve immediately. These are best if eaten soon after making, but you can also store them in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours before serving. The only thing is that after chilling in the fridge, the coating tends to slide right off when you bite into the berry, so it’s a little like eating a candied apple (except with a strawberry inside). I think that’s still delicious, but if you’d like a more cohesive experience when you bite into the covered strawberry, you’re better off making this right before you want to serve it.
I’d like to see you try to resist eating the whole batch yourself! Wa may have to fight me for these tonight (just kidding!).