Need a super quick, last-minute sweet to give your sweetie on Valentine's Day? Why not whip up a batch of pralines or a few wedges of peanut brittle? Don't worry, food scientist Harold McGee promises that using the microwave for these treats is as easy as pressing a button.
In his New York Times article, McGee explains that a microwave is actually the perfect tool for cooking sugar syrup. He says, "Nearly all the microwave energy goes directly into the water molecules, and evenly, from all directions at the same time." This means that the sugar cooks far more evenly and quickly than it does on the stove top. That sounds good to us!
Some caution is still needed, however. McGee warns that the bowl can get very hot or be awkward to handle as you take it in and out of the microwave. Be very careful not to splash yourself with hot syrup as you work.
McGee gives recipes for classic pralines, peanut brittle, and turkish delights (which we are dying to try!). He also explains the general method for making caramels in the body of the article, and we're eager to experiment with those on our own.
• Get the Recipes: Zapping the Holiday Candy by Harold McGee in The New York Times
Images: Fred R. Conrad for The New York Times