Holiday Gift Idea: Salted Caramel Sauce
You know those people on your Christmas list who are hard to buy for? The ones who are either really particular, or seem to have everything already? Why not nix the store-bought gifts altogether and opt for something homemade instead! Something that you spend time making can often feel even more personalized and special. This salted caramel may seem difficult or intimidating at first, but I promise - it's so easy. No candy thermometer required.I've also included a free printable label to adorn your finished jars, which you can download at the end of this post.This salted caramel sauce pairs nicely with so many things. Ice cream is the obvious choice, but you can also dip butter cookies or pretzels into it, drizzle a little over some apple slices and brie, pour it over a plain cake, or mix a spoonful into your morning coffee or evening hot chocolate. It's actually quite versatile.I always recommend using a good quality butter, but especially in something as butter-focused as caramel. I prefer to use unsalted butter so that I can control the quality of salt being used. I like the pink Himalayan variety. I would highly discourage using table salt, you just won't get the same depth of flavor.I tested the recipe with and without corn syrup and found that it tasted best when included. The corn syrup prevents sugar crystals from forming, making for a smoother consistency. The flavour with the corn syrup is more buttery, versus deeper nutty notes without. If you decide against the corn syrup, you'll need to add extra water to the sugar, around 2 tablespoons.
Which Jars to Use?
For this recipe, I used three 1/2 cup Weck jars. I prefer these jars because the metal clips easily snap off, allowing you to heat the sauce in the microwave without having to transfer it to a different container. It also makes a lovely, simple presentation on its own. If you live near Winnipeg, you can pick some up at Grace & Company, or order them online. If you prefer another type of jar, any type will work, as long as it's sterilized before using (freshly run through the dishwasher).
Salted Caramel Sauce
1 cup granulated sugar, no lumps1/4 cup water1/4 cup light corn syrup1 cup 35% cream2 Tablespoons unsalted butter1 teaspoon pink Himalayan saltINSTRUCTIONSIn small, heavy bottom saucepan, stir together sugar, water and corn syrup. Cook over medium-low heat until golden brown, brushing down sides with a slightly damp party brush, around 5 to 7 minutes. This will prevent crystals from forming.Remove pot from heat (mixture will continue to cook in the pot), and carefully add cream. The mixture will bubble up and then settle down. Whisk the mixture together. You will see some of the caramel separated. Whisk in butter and add salt.Return to heat and stir until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour mixture into glass measuring cup with spout. Let cool slightly, then fill your decorative jars. Let cool at room temperature before putting lids on, around 1 hour. The sauce will be quite runny at first but will harden the longer it sits.Makes 1 1/2 cups, enough for 3 small (5 oz) Weck jars.Adorn your jars with the custom designed gift label! Link to download below.
Caramel will last up to 5 days after being made, or 1 day past the expiration date on the carton of cream you used. So pay attention and buy the carton with the furthest date stamped on it, especially if you'll be gifting the caramel.The best way to reheat caramel is in the microwave. Make sure to remove any metal parts first.
Free Printable Gift Tag
Download these custom gift tags using the link below! Punch a hole to tie them to the jar, print them on sticker paper, or simply use double sided tape or glue to create the perfect label.Salted Caramel Gift Tags