A couple months ago I made some delicious cinnamon raisin bread pudding and homemade eggnog ice cream for our Gourmet Cooking Club and just felt like it needed a *little* something more to send it completely over the top. I soon figured out that what was missing was Salted Caramel Sauce. Maybe one of the best things ever invented, in my opinion. I have a pretty tried and true recipe that I’ve always loved but I wanted to try something different and hopefully a bit easier. I found this recipe by Sally’s Baking Addiction and I knew it would probably be awesome because somehow her recipes are always fool-proof and absolutely delicious! The girl knows what she’s doing. And this recipe was spot-on delicious and easy to whip up!
My only change I might make was to reduce the salt just a touch, for me it was a bit much. Contrasted with something very sweet like eggnog ice cream, it didn’t really bother me and was still delicious but I might reduce it to 3/4 t. salt instead of the 1 t. the recipe calls for. Just my preference! We also tried this salted caramel sauce over warm raisin oatmeal white chocolate chip cookies with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and it was absolutely divine. I’ll have the cookie recipe soon so be sure and look for that! In the meantime make a jar of this luscious, creamy, sweet and salty caramel sauce and have it ready and waiting in your refrigerator!
The other day I was making caramels. Well, I thought I was making caramels. I have this recipe for amazing, chewy caramels that I’ve made for years and decided to try and switch things up and make them EGGNOG caramels. As the buttery, sugary mixture boiled and did its thing, I thought to myself, “Yeah…these are going to be awesome.” The scent of eggnog and caramelized sugar smelled divine and I could not wait to sink my teeth into one of these babies.
Imagine my shock the next day when I went to check on the caramels and ummm, they weren’t quite as firm as they should be. As a matter of fact, the weren’t firm AT ALL. Bummer. But then I had a thought! Eggnog Caramel Sauce?! Heck yes! What I thought was a disaster actually turned out to be the most wonderful, delicious thing ever! We warmed our sauce in the microwave for about 10 seconds and drizzled it over vanilla ice cream and our taste buds were immediately transported to total nirvana. To be honest, I rarely have mistakes that actually turn out for the better and this was totally an exception. The flavors of caramel and eggnog in this sauce are just incredible. Perfect for gift giving. Or just keep it all to yourself. Like we’re doing. Hah.
Bring sugar, butter, dark corn syrup and light corn syrup to a boil in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook 5 minutes without stirring. Stir in eggnog, turn heat to medium and bring to boil. Cook, stirring constantly, 10 minutes or until a candy thermometer reaches 245 degrees. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and nutmeg and pour into a bowl to cool. Once cooled, pour into jars and store in the refrigerator.
Makes 3 cups of caramel sauce or 3, half-pint jars.
Guess what is showing up at our local farmer’s market right now? Peaches! Beautiful, soft, juicy peaches. This past Saturday I arrived at our local farmer’s market, Farmer’s Market of the Ozarks, at exactly 7:30 a.m. (yes, this is when they open and quite a few people had already beat me there!) to be sure I could get my hands on some before the crowds arrived. I made a beeline to the booth that had them and happily paid for my peck of peaches. I also managed to score some strawberries but barely, there were only a couple of pints left!
So I got what I came for and headed back to my kitchen…I had a plan for these peaches that involved champagne, brown sugar and lots of spices. I could hardly wait to get started. What resulted was one of the most delicious ice cream sauces I have ever tasted. My kitchen smelled like a cross between Christmas from all the spices in the sauce and summer from the orange zest and peaches. Pure. Heaven. If you are a fan of peach pie, this will remind you of just that…but without the crust! It is decadent and delicious over vanilla ice cream, especially homemade vanilla ice cream, which is exactly how we enjoyed it this past weekend. Next week I’ll have another recipe that involves this peach sauce that is OUT OF THIS WORLD. Stay tuned!
In a small saucepan, bring the champagne, brown sugar, spices and 1 t. cornstarch to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes. Add orange zest and let cool completely.
Place peaches in a shallow dish and pour the sauce over the peaches. Refrigerate overnight. Remove the peaches the next day and place in a bowl. Pour the sauce in a small saucepan again, whisk in 2 t. cornstarch and bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Cool completely. Sauce will thicken as it cools (mine was VERY thick after being in my refrigerator overnight).