This month, we’re featuring dips and sauces, and today’s recipe is a sweet one! Eva from Adventures in Cooking is sharing her tried-and-true recipe for caramel sauce. How delicious would this be over a bowl of ice cream? Here’s how to make it…

Caramel Sauce
By Eva Kosmas of Adventures In Cooking

This recipe has been there for me through thick and thin. I’ve made it for myself, friends, relatives and guests and used it in a wide variety of frostings, fillings and toppings. I’ve incorporated it into buttercream, I’ve drizzled it over sheet cake, I’ve cored and stuffed apples with it, and I’ve even boiled it down to a thick paste and used it to fill the macarons at my own wedding. This, my friends, is the best caramel sauce. And because it’s the best caramel sauce, my absolute favorite way to enjoy it is to simply pour it over a big scoop of vanilla ice cream, so I get every little burst of its rich, buttery, toasted caramel flavor.

There are two keys components to this recipe. The first is to cook down the granulated sugar until it starts “toasting” and begins to turn amber-colored. This brings out all the deep, nutty flavors of the sugar. The second is to add in brown sugar immediately afterwards. Brown sugar has a little bit of molasses in it naturally, and it brings a wonderful buttery, warm note to the party that granulated sugar can’t create on its own. And when the two combine with the rest of the ingredients, you get a caramel sauce unrivaled by any in human history. And that, my friends, is why I’ve used this recipe so many times and in so many ways, because when something’s the best, it just makes everything you add it to that much better.

Recipe: Caramel Sauce

You’ll need:

1/4 cup water
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar
½ cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of salt

In a small stainless steel saucepan, mix together the water and the granulated sugar over high heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Bring the heat down to medium and continue boiling until the mixture turns a light caramel color, stirring once every two minutes or so. It can take up to 15 minutes for the clear syrup to turn light caramel-colored, but the exact speed will depend upon the heat intensity of your stovetop.

Once the syrup turns that light amber hue, quickly remove the pot from the heat and immediately stir in the heavy cream, butter and brown sugar until incorporated. Be careful when adding the ingredients, however, as the mixture will spit and hiss a bit. If the sugar begins to clump up when you’re stirring do not worry, just stir as best as you can for about 30 seconds and then place the pot on the stovetop over medium heat until the mixture reaches a boil. Once it is boiling again, stir it until the sugar chunk dissolves and the mixture is smooth.

When the caramel smoothes out, allow the mixture to simmer for 3-5 minutes more so that it thickens slightly. Remove from the stovetop and stir in the vanilla extract and the salt. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature. Use immediately, or keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. If refrigerated, the caramel will solidify slightly. Simply heat it up a bit to get it back to drizzling consistency.

Thank you so much, Eva!

P.S. More best recipes, including chocolate chunk cookies and apple crisp.

(Photos and recipe by Eva Kosmas of Adventures In Cooking. Thanks to Shoko for helping with this series.)