If you're looking for an unforgettable ending to your fondue night, this is the recipe: a rich, golden caramel sauce. One quick dunk turns any of our suggested dippers into a delicious treat. Made from candies melted in the microwave, it can be ready to serve in a jiffy.
Pot Cleaning Tip: Once caramel hardens, cleaning the pot can be difficult. Here's a trick: add enough water to cover the candy residue, then bring it to a boil. Before the water cools, stir it to melt the candy and pour it out.
For more delicious fondue recipes, check out Fond of Fondue.
Combine the caramels, the half-and-half, and the butter in a 1-quart microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl. Microwave on high for 2 to 3 1/2 minutes to soften the candy (check the mixture after the first 2 minutes, and after that, at 30-second intervals). Remove the mixture from the microwave, then add the vanilla extract and stir until smooth.
If you prefer preparing the sauce on the stovetop, heat the caramels, half-and-half, and butter together in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water until the candy melts. Stir until the mixture is smooth, then remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
Pour the mixture into a fondue pot and set the flame to keep it warm. Serves 6 to 8.