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Day 11: Salted Caramel Sauce with Maple Bourbon

There’s not much I can say about today’s gift besides saying it might be the best thing I have ever made.  It is so delicious that I found myself standing by the stove and scraping up every last bit that was left in the pot to eat.  If I could have stuck my face in the pot, I might have done just that.  Even my husband loved it, which is saying something because he does not generally like sweet things.  But, though this is a caramel sauce, the added sea salt helps to temper the sweetness and the bourbon gives it a kick that, frankly, most of us need right about now.

The secret to the sauce is this new bourbon that I got: Knob Creek’s Smoked Maple Bourbon.

It’s fantastic.  For this recipe, I used a new approach to making caramel that I had not tried before.  First, you melt a stick of butter in a saucepan.  Then, add a cup of sugar.  You cook this together for awhile.  It looks ugly.  The sugar is a weird consistency and the butter and sugar do not mix together.  At this point, I was pretty sure I was going to have to throw it all away and try again.

But, then it started to smooth out and all the crystals melted.

After adding the cream, it did freeze up a bit, but most of it gets melted back into a nice smooth sauce after a little more heating.  Some of it did not dissolve back in, as you can see on my whisk.

I just strained it to get all the lumps out and was left with the most wonderful sauce.  Yummy!  Of course, you can use any alcohol you want here.  Plain bourbon would be good as well as rum or use more cream if you want a plain salted caramel sauce.  If you can get the maple bourbon, though, I highly suggest you try it.

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If you need a quick gift for someone, this recipe takes just 10-15 minutes, which is good because if you give it away, you will want to make another batch for yourself.  It’s a good thing it is easy.

Have you ever made something as a gift and then liked it so much that you had to keep it?  Tell me about it in the comments and be entered into a drawing for the fun gifty box.  I am not sure if a jar of this sauce will make it into the box.  I would have to make another batch because we’ve eaten most of this one!

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Salted Caramel Sauce with Maple Bourbon

makes about 1 1/2 cups

8 Tablespoons, 4 ounces or 1 stick of butter

1 cup or 7 ounces granulated sugar

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1/3 cup Maple Bourbon

1 teaspoon flaky sea salt

Melt the butter in a medium sized heavy saucepan over medium heat.

Add the sugar and stir.  Cook, stirring occasionally until the sugar starts to take on some color.  Then, stir frequently until the sugar is just a little lighter that the color you would like your sauce to be.  I like mine on the dark side, but you want to be careful not to burn it because that doesn’t taste very good.  Remove from heat.

Add the cream carefully;  it will bubble up furiously, so stand back!  Once the bubbling has subsided, put the pot back on over medium heat and stir until all the solid bits are dissolved into the sauce.

Add the bourbon and salt.  Strain the sauce into a bowl or jar.  Serve over ice cream, fruit, or just eat it straight from the jar.  It should keep in the fridge for several weeks.  To restore it to sauciness after being chilled, just microwave it in 10 second spurts until it is a loose sauce again.

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Cranberry Math

Cranberries

plus clementines

equals cranberry clementine sauce

Flour, spices, and yeast

plus butter, sugar, eggs, and pumpkin

added with raisins, walnuts, and more cranberries

equals cranberry walnut raisin pumpkin bread

All this and we still have no turkey in the house.