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Blog

Caramel Sauce

Patricia Reitz

easy caramel sauce
easy caramel sauce

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.

making caramel sauce
making caramel sauce

I started by melting 1 stick of unsalted butter (8 tablespoons), 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 cup of sugar in a saucepan.

making caramel ice cream topping
making caramel ice cream topping

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.

caramel and cream
caramel and cream

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.

vanilla caramel sauce
vanilla caramel sauce

Then I turned off the heat and added 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract; stir, stir, stir...

homemade caramel sauce
homemade caramel sauce

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....

dressed up homemade caramel sauce
dressed up homemade caramel sauce

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.

Caramel Sauce

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!