Making candy at home reads like a simple job: boil water and sugar, basically. But in practice, it's a lot of time standing over a stove. Food science maestro Harold McGee suggests your microwave makes homemade gifts and sweet snacks much easier.
McGee explains why boiling sugar and water together requires constant attention and stirring, so as not to scorch or bubble over. Use a microwave instead, and you only need to jump in every few minutes to scrape down sides and stir:
The microwave oven is much better suited to the task. Nearly all the microwave energy goes directly into the water molecules, and evenly, from all directions at the same time. It heats the syrup very quickly, and there's no chance that one part will be hotter than its boiling point and scorch.
The Microwave Makes Holiday Candy Making Easier [NYTimes.com]