Salted Caramel Sauce

Sometimes it is just really, really hard to let go. Like when your child goes to kindergarten or college, or when you have a great idea that your boss just doesn’t get or when you think about that thing your spouse said 100 years ago that still ticks you off. Or like when you make salted caramel sauce, and you mean to give it out as holiday gifts, but it is just so darn good and you keep finding amazing new ways to use it. You already knew how great it would be on ice cream (duh), and dipping apple slices was a no-brainer—but drizzled over cheese…who knew?? So then you have to make more, because you used up all the sauce that was supposed to be your holiday gifts… And really, making it is just so fun and a little magical. There is so much caramel that happens to drip everywhere, and those untidy drips make it from counter to finger to mouth is 3 seconds flat. In fact, clean-up is a breeze, because you have been cleaning up as you go, haven’t you? Now it really is time to make the sweet and salty caramel sauce that is just part of our human nature to love. You can give it to your closest, most beloved friends, who will appreciate that you are giving them a gift you made—a gift of your time and effort, which is about the best gift you can give. (Especially when your time and effort taste like this.) Pour this lustrous, rich salted caramel sauce into simple ball jars and tie twine or ribbon around them. Go ahead: release your salted caramel sauce into equally loving hands (and mouths) – but tuck one little jar away for you.

Serves:  About 2 3/4 cups
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces Kerrygold Unsalted Butter, cut in bits and brought to room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons flake or coarse sea salt, such as Malden

The sauce takes less than 15 minutes to make, but timing is important. Have all your ingredients measured and next to the stove before you start cooking. Be sure to use a larger pot than you think you will need: when you add the cream to the cooked sugar it will foam and bubble—and you want that contained within the pot. When making multiple batches, bear in mind that the sugar will take longer to reach 350 degrees.

Using a thermometer takes the guesswork out, but you can make caramel without it: pay close attention to the color of the sugar as it cooks, and add the cream when the sugar is the deep golden brown color of honey.

Combine the sugar and water in a 5-quart (large) sauce pan. Bring to a boil and continue boiling, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is amber-brown and reaches 350 degrees, about 9 minutes. Remove from heat.

Pour in the cream—the mixture will foam and bubble, so pour away from you. Stir, adding the butter, until both are incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the salt and allow to cool.


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