Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Caramel Championships!

I promised some of you that I would be doing a Caramel Cook Off between brown sugar and white sugar caramel.  I did.  Thats the winner right there above.  Enjoy!

JUST KIDDING!  Ok so I have this super easy brown sugar caramel recipe I have making and storing in half pint Ball canning jars.  I got the recipe from....hmmmm where DID I get the recipe...Oh yes of course! Mels Kitchen Cafe.  I had made her Caramel Apple Cheesecake Streusel Bars.  The caramel in this recipe takes less than 10 minutes and no thermometer is required.  Here is a picture (on my cell phone...I know I know):

On the cheesecake bars:

As you can see, it has a pretty dark color to it.  Nothing like I had imagined.  I pictured more of a chewy, creamy caramel candy type of color.  It tasted very robust also.  In other words, it was VERY caramely tasting.  I absolutely LOVED it.  Made a bunch of this stuff so that I could have some in the fridge at all times.  I used it in coffee, over desserts, my mind kept running over the different things I could use it over....mmmmmm.  Then.  Then I saw this:

Homemade Caramel Sauce

Uh huh...are you drooling yet?  I had already began thinking of different Homemade Gifts I could give for the holidays.  I had to go out on disability for awhile and didn't want to turn off all the lights and hide in the back of the house at Christmas like I do at Halloween.  So, naturally when I received this in my email AND saw how light and creamy it looked, I had to try it.  I did so last night and here is mine:

Look at the spoon and NOT in the pan.  Its a little darker than I would have liked BUT it was my first time.  A little stressful I might add too.  You have to wait for the color to change to amber.  The recipe called for deep amber.  Plus I had read somewhere that a non-stick coated pan is no bueno for caramel making. 
Ok so I maybe shoulda put the cream in a moment sooner and the caramel would have been a little lighter.  This stuff is SO good.  It has butter in it as well that I think lends a creaminess to it that the brown sugar one does not.  This recipe is definitely harder to make.  More for an intermediate cook where the brown sugar recipe is better for a beginner cook.  The finished product:
Ok so I thought I was being all fancy with my camera trying to take this shot at an awesome angle to show off my shallot and garlic there in the background.  Then I see all those dang crumbs on my counter.  Geez! Pretend you don't see them please.

THUD! I just died.  White sugar caramel wins!

Brown Sugar Caramel Sauce (Courtesy of Mel's Kitchen Cafe)
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cups half-and-half or cream
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
Mix butter, brown sugar, half-and-half or cream, and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes, until thickened slightly. Add the vanilla and cook another minute to thicken further. Turn off the heat and pour the sauce into a jar. Refrigerate until cold. 
White Sugar Caramel Sauce (Courtesy of Oxmoor House)


  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/3  cup  water
  • 3/4  cup  whipping cream
  • 1/3  cup  butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2  teaspoon  vanilla extract


Combine sugar and water in a large heavy saucepan; cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high, and boil gently, without stirring, until syrup turns a deep amber color, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush and swirling pan (about 8 minutes). (Swirling the pan, instead of stirring, promotes more even cooking.) Gradually add cream (sauce will bubble vigorously). Add butter; stir gently until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla.  Yields 1 3/4 cups.
I would like to note that when I added the cream, the sauce got hard and I had to whisk ALOT to get it to smooth out again.  I would be very careful to add the cream gradually as I think I dumped it all in.  Miraculously, it turned out lol.
Christmas With Southern Living 2006, Oxmoor House, JUNE 2006


  1. Ok, I am contemplating on eating the computer screen or perhaps just licking it!!!!

  2. HAHAHAHAHA OMG you made me LOL!!

  3. are amazing! What a wonderful gift to give for the Holidays! Thanx for sharing...absolutly delicious! :o) someone pass the ice cream and lets dig into this caramel!!!!!!