I’M BACK AFTER A FEW DAYS OFF. We went trick-or-treating with Maddie and her cousin for Halloween, and I was once again reminded of the beauty of this time of the year in our area (thank goodness the rain held off until the next morning). I wanted to get my caramel sauce recipe on here for everyone, because it’s just so fitting with this being apple season and the time when we start looking forward to our hearty fall dishes. This recipe is super easy – the only thing with it is you can’t walk away from it since the sugar can burn so easily! It can quickly turn from perfect to the point of no return. However, you can control how rich you want the sauce to taste – remember, the darker it gets, the more the sugar is caramelizing, and the richer it will taste. I’m looking for decadence out of a sauce like this, so I like to let it go until it’s a deep tan color. Another thing is, the longer you let it sit, the thicker it will get. You can also adjust the amount of liquid – add just a bit of water if you want it thinner, like if you are looking for a drizzling consistency, and if you want it thicker you can even add more sugar. The sauce is best served warm, either right out of the pan a few minutes after you make it, or heated up in the same pan on the stove.
Homemade Caramel Sauce
– I cup granulated sugar
– ¼ cup half and half
– 6 tbsp unsalted butter
– ¼ tsp salt
– 2 tsp vanilla extract
1) In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the sugar and salt. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves. You’ll have a nice thick pale yellow mixture.
2) Remove the pan from the heat and add the half and half. You want to remove the pan from the heat because it’s going to bubble up a bit – liquid + hot sugar = volatile. Put the pan back over the heat and cook until you reach the desired color – remember, the darker the sauce gets, the richer it will taste. Don’t walk away! You have to babysit the pan and stir frequently to prevent the sugar from burning!
3) Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine. You want to be sure to add the vanilla last because if you add it any sooner, all the flavor will just cook out as the alcohol cooks out. Serve warm or allow to cool slightly before storing in the fridge – I like to store it right in the same pan because it never lasts long enough to warrant using a separate container!