When I was a kid, chocolate was everything. I had a big sweet tooth, and I was willing to try just about anything that contained sugar, but my first choice was always of the milk, semi-sweet or even dark variety. However, since my days of having the metabolism of a 12-year-old are long gone I have to be pretty picky about what I indulge in. Somewhere along the way that changed from chocolate to caramel.
I shared my recipe for caramel candies you can make using the microwave a while back. I make them once or twice a year and as long as I'm paying attention and follow the recipe they come out great. No one ever suspects I didn't slave over a stove top to make them, and they get compliments every time I take them somewhere.
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Today I'm carrying that ease over to a recipe for equally delicious sauce. It's all I can do not to drizzle this on everything - apples, coffee, ice cream...
To make this you'll need:
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pour the cream into a glass measuring cup. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and add to the cup, cutting into smaller pieces to fit if necessary. Heat 45 to 60 seconds, making sure it doesn’t come to a boil. Set aside.
Combine the butter, sugar, corn syrup and water in a large glass bowl. Whisk well.
Heat 2 minutes. Whisk again. Heat 1 minute at a time, whisking after each minute, for about 3 more minutes. The cook time may vary depending on your microwave. The sauce should be an amber color and it should be bubbling.
Remove the vanilla beans from the cream. Whisk the cream into the butter mixture. Whisk in the vanilla extract. Scrape the seeds from the inside of the vanilla bean and stir them into the sauce if desired. Besides adding extra flavor, I like the look of the brown flecks in the sauce.
Store in the refrigerator. This makes about 1 1/2 cups, which will last about 5 minutes. At least in my house. If you can get it out of yours in one piece, this would make a great Valentine's Day gift!