Caramel is delicious. It can be used in a variety of different ways, from topping off ice cream to being drizzled over apple pie before baking it. However, if you’re looking for something quick and easy that has all the flavor of caramel without any fuss or muss – look no further! This recipe is so simple anyone can make it at home with ease.
This recipe is best made with a candy thermometer.
Step One: Combine the sugar and water in a medium-sized saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all of the sugar has dissolved – this should take about five minutes or so. Increase the heat to high; bring mixture to a boil without stirring it but gently swirling pan from time to time. Boil for exactly four minutes (no more). Remove from heat immediately and pour into shallow, well-oiled dish or baking sheet.
Step Two: Let cool completely before breaking up pieces of caramelized sugar by hand into smaller chunks that are easier to measure out for recipes.
Step Three: Store in airtight container for up to three weeks, if not using immediately- store in a cool dry place and use within two months of making date (if you live in an area with high humidity or frequent rainstorms, it is best to store the caramelized sugar inside your fridge)
Yields about one cup of caramel sauce which equals about sixteen tablespoons.
Caramelizing Sugar 101
The sugar will begin caramelizing at about 350 degrees Fahrenheit and become fully caramelized around 390 degree Fahrenheit when most of the liquid has boiled off – these temperatures may vary depending on the humidity in your kitchen. It is best to have an oven thermometer on hand, which can be purchased from any local store or online for between $12-25 dollars; if you do not own this tool, use a candy thermometer as they are accurate enough for caramels! If overheating occurs (the sugar starts burning), turn the heat off and wait until it cools down before proceeding with again heating up some more.
How to get the most flavor out of this recipe?
-Add a pinch of salt to the sugar and cream mixture. Salt will intensify the flavor of other flavors in your dish!
-A splash or two (or more!) of bourbon, dark rum, brandy, or whiskey can be mixed into the sauce for an added kick that will make this recipe even better than before!
-If you are feeling adventurous, add a pinch of vanilla extract and/or cinnamon to the sugar and cream mixture.
-If desired, toast some chopped nuts in butter or bacon fat with a few tablespoons sugar until they’re golden brown (you might need to use more sugar depending on how many nuts you have). The hot caramel sauce makes an excellent glaze for these warm roasted almonds!
Why caramel should be used more often on your dishes?
Caramel is a rich and decadent sauce that can be used in many different dishes. It sweetens the dish without adding any additional sugar, which means it’s a healthier version of your favorite dessert! Caramel isn’t just for ice cream sundaes or apple pie anymore; use it to make these recipes as well:
Pizza topping – Drizzle caramel on top of pizza dough and add pepperoni slices before baking. For an extra special treat, sprinkle oregano over the toppings after they’ve been cooked. This flavor combo would go great with garlic knots too (see below).
Breakfast toast – Spread butter on two pieces of whole wheat bread then drizzle one side with some salted caramel sauce. Toast in the oven or a toaster oven until golden brown and enjoy with your favorite toppings on top!
Ice cream sundae – Drizzle some salted caramel over vanilla ice cream and add chocolate syrup too for an extra delicious treat that’s perfect for summertime BBQs, gatherings, parties, holidays…or just because you deserve it sometimes too!
Take-and-bake cookie dough bars – These are like cookies without all the work of baking them–plus they’re easy to transport and store so they’re great for potlucks or taking on vacation. Just spread refrigerated sugar cookie dough evenly into a greased pan then bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 12 minutes. Let cool completely before drizzling with salted caramel.
Caramel apple pie – Cut the apples in half, remove their cores and thin slices of peel from around the edges, then place them cut-side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Brush both sides of the apples generously with butter and sprinkle with sugar before tossing them into an oven preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes total time. When they’re done cooking, drizzle some warm salted caramel over top! Serve fresh out of the oven while it’s still hot–so good…