It's always more fun to DIY. Every week, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home.
Today: A boozy, five-ingredient caramel sauce that's perfect for holiday gifting, from Becky Rosenthal of The Vintage Mixer.
When a friend rattles off her whiskey caramel sauce recipe to you by heart, you know it's going to be good. It all started with a naked chocolate bundt cake in need of a topping -- that's when my friend Haley came to the rescue with her go-to caramel sauce. My chocolate cake hasn't been the same since; it's a happy and tipsy end to any party!
Since that first date, we have changed the caramel recipe a bit, adding a touch of salt, some cream, and less whiskey for perfect balance. Now we enjoy it over just about anything -- from ice cream to bread pudding to pumpkin pie -- and still, it's greatest match is for our chocolate cake. Our friends enjoy it so much that we've started to give it away as gifts around the holidays.
More: Our favorite presents are the ones you can eat. Here are a few more edible gift ideas.
As a non-crafter, I got some help from my friend Ana to spruce up the jars with a pretty label and a tiny wintry scarf. Now, they're perfectly dressed for any party. But those plaid scarves won't stay on for long -- this sauce usually gets unsealed before the party's over!
Makes four 5-ounce jars
cup (2 sticks) butter
2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup whiskey
Place all of the ingredients, except the whiskey, in a medium pot over low heat and stir until melted and combined.
Turn the heat up to high and bring the caramel to a boil. Once it's boiling, turn the heat down to medium-high and gently boil for 3 more minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and add the whiskey, stirring constantly, as the liquor will cause the caramel to bubble back up.
Allow the caramel to cool slightly, then pour it into individual jars. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks and enjoy!
Photos by Becky Rosenthal