There was an ice cream party at the kid's school today and each family was supposed to send in one ice cream topping. I had a feeling a lot of the kids would bring chocolate syrup, but didn't think anyone would bring caramel sauce, so I decided to whip up a batch - no recipe, I just winged it.
I started by melting 1 stick of unsalted butter (8 tablespoons), 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 cup of sugar in a saucepan.
I heated it over a medium flame until it reached a nice color and it started to smell kind of carmel-y. I also transferred the sugar/butter mixture into a larger pan because I remembered caramel bubbles up violently when liquid is added, and I planned to add cream in the next step.
I added about 3/4 cup of heavy cream and stirred well. Note: I usually let it get a bit darker before I add the cream, but I needed to get this out the door fast, so I finished it a bit on the light side. I knew the kids would love it no matter what, and they surely did... there was only a drizzle in the bottom of the jar at the end of the party.
Then I turned off the heat and added 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract; stir, stir, stir...
I let the mixture cool for a couple of minutes before pouring into jars. As you can see, this step can be a bit messy, so I filled the jars over a lined sheet tray.
After a quick clean-up, I added the lid and wasn't pleased with the appearance of this reused maraschino cherry jar, so....
I jazzed the jar up a little with gold ribbon and a couple of squares of recycled star tissue paper, which made for a much more pleasant presentation. I don't usually recycle tissue paper, but this one was too cute to throw away - glad I saved it.
makes 1 1/2 cups
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Melt butter, sugar, and salt together in a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil and cook without stirring until desired color is achieved. Remove from heat and stir in cream. Cool for a couple of minutes before adding vanilla; stir to combine. Enjoy!