I love that the a few simple ingredients can be combined in such way to make a sweet, sometimes salty, concoction that can be added to everyday foods to make them extra special. Coffee. Apple slices. Oatmeal. If whipped cream can reasonably be added to the mix, even better.
Thankfully, making caramel sauce with a few real food ingredients is something easily done (though you can’t have any distractions – I’m looking at you, Facebook). All you have to do is get some cream, sugar and pull some butter out of my fridge. I can do that. (And I do, much too often).
- 3/4 cups whipping cream (set this out on the counter about an hour before you start – room temperature cream mixes in much better)
- 1 cup sugar (I use evaporated cane juice)
- 1/4 cup water
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter (room temp, cut into 4 equal chunks)
- 1 tsp sea salt (optional)
Leave your butter and cream on the counter, or on your stove, for about an hour before you get started. I’ve found room temperature ingredients make this easier.
In a medium sauce pan, add the sugar and water and stir with a whisk just until it’s dissolved. Put it on a burner set to medium high heat.
For the next five minutes or so, WATCH THE PAN, waiting for the perfect time to remove it from heat (you will also be restraining yourself from stirring as you’ll end up with rock candy instead).
Just watch the sugar water bubble and once you see the edges begin to turn from gold to light amber, get ready to act, because things can go bad really fast. (Seriously, stay away from Facebook while you’re doing this. And you should probably just hide your phone.)
Once everything is amber and you see a darker amber color beginning to infiltrate from the edges, remove the pan from heat and slowly add the cream. Be careful as it will bubble and make some steam!
Stir quickly so that everything mixes together well, and add the butter, one chunk at a time (then add salt, if you want salted caramel sauce). Mix well.
Quickly move the finished sauce to a glass jar/dish so it can cool, snap a picture for Instagram or Facebook (it’s ok to get back on now) and use a spatula to scrape the remaining caramel sauce from the pan.
Consider what you scrape off to be a reward for your intense concentration and ability to burn sugar just enough that you get a beautiful, delicious treat.
Some delicious ways to use it
Now that you’ve made this amazing sauce, you’ll be looking for any excuse to use it. So here are some ideas. Go ahead, enjoy.
- Coffee: Add 1-2 Tbsp to your cup of joe or use in this homemade latte recipe instead of the cinnamon and honey.
- Apples: Slice some apples and dip them in this sauce for a healthy-ish treat.
- Ice cream: Make your own sundae or simply drizzle it over the top of your ice cream.
- Spoon: I won’t tell you how often I just enjoy a spoonful of caramel sauce. It’s soooo good.
- Oatmeal: Add a spoonful of applesauce and drizzle some caramel sauce over the top for apple pie oatmeal.
- Salted Caramel Apple Pie Burrito: What’s this, you say? Only my favorite new dessert that I created because we’re in the middle of a no spend challenge and I wanted to be creative with what we had on hand. This is the result.
Salted Caramel Apple Pie Burrito
Ok, so I have to give you this recipe, too. It’s pretty simple and you can throw it together in a few minutes, as long as you have all of the ingredients on hand.
- 1 homemade flour tortilla. Yes, it has to be homemade, or at least the ones from Costco that you cook at home. I’m a tortilla snob and anything else just tastes like plastic (thanks, Dad, for spoiling me with your amazing homemade tortillas). Here’s a recipe if you need one.
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup chunky applesauce – add more if you like more filling. I made this recipe because we were gifted a box of apples that needed to be used ASAP. I highly recommend adding 1 drop of cardamom essential oil to the recipe. It’s amazing.
- 2 tsp salted caramel sauce
Warm your tortilla on a skillet (here’s what I use) on medium-low heat. While it’s warming, rub it down with half the butter (just the side that’s showing) and be careful not to burn yourself.
Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar evenly over the buttered tortilla. (Frankly, this is what I was making originally, as it’s a dessert I grew up with. So if you want to stop there, just roll it up and call it good.)
Now, spoon your applesauce onto the middle of the tortilla and spread it evenly in a line up and down the middle.
Drizzle the salted caramel sauce evenly over the applesauce.
Roll the tortilla up like this (so stuff doesn’t spill out) and remove the burrito from the pan. You can eat it as is OR melt the remaining butter on the skillet and lightly brown the burrito on both sides for a little extra crispy deliciousness.
Drizzle a little more caramel sauce over the top and enjoy!
I recently read something you wrote about 21 reasons why simple living is great (something like that) and I have to tell you I am falling more and more in love with the idea of furthering my decluttering challenge. I’m not a hoarder by any means, but, I do have “stuff”…from personal shelf decor, to files, to (probably) just crap…I have a little of everything. So now I want to get rid of it all! I just had my third child and I need some more peace in my life! My kids have one bag of toys in the living room and one box in my son’s room (plus a few bigger items like a train set, bag of blocks etc, but not a lot and not overtaking. I know I could get rid of a few more toys, but I’m trying to figure out what else I can get rid of. My closet is a bit tight…so I’m sure there are plenty of tshirts that I never wear that I could go ahead and pull and stop saving for a rainy day.
So I’m wondering, where did YOU start?? What items did you get rid of first … I have a few partially used candles for example…do I toss them? I have a file of papers from all of our appliances (toaster, microwave, etc.) I was saving for an unexpected something to come up where in I would pull it out and save the day…but it hasn’t happened in 6 years of marriage. So should I totally toss that?!
I’d love to hear more about how to start and maybe some examples of things you got rid of. I’m also a lover of books and have a shelf designated for them. I will probably NEVER read most of them that I saved from my grad school days (all kinds of lovely literature). I’m guess these would probably be a good place to start??
Any ideas would be super!!!