Easy Homemade Caramel Sauce

a simple, no-fuss recipe for caramel sauce--perfect for ice cream topping, apples, or fruit dip. I'm having a really hard time not just eating it with a spoon...

This recipe is almost sinful.

But I’m posting it anyway. Just because I love you guys.

Now keep in mind, I’m a big believer in the importance of reducing sugar. I used to have a fierce sweet tooth, and have since tamed it considerably.

However.

Sometimes you just gotta splurge.

a simple, no-fuss recipe for caramel sauce--perfect for ice cream topping, apples, or fruit dip. I'm having a really hard time not just eating it with a spoon...

And thick-and-gooey-homemade-salted-caramel made with real butter and cream is the perfect time to do said splurging.

Should you eat homemade caramel sauce everyday. Well, no.

But fall is the perfect time to enjoy this decadent sauce–especially if you need a quick treat to take to those fall parties and festivities. And I’m of the opinion that if you combine this caramel sauce with apples, it officially makes it healthier. Right??

Okay, so I’ll stop leading you astray now.

(And just so you know–I’m totally redneck in my pronunciation of “caramel.” I say ‘CAR-mel’, even though all the fancy foodies on TV pronounce it “car-ah-mel”. I can’t help it.)

a simple, no-fuss recipe for caramel sauce--perfect for ice cream topping, apples, or fruit dip. I'm having a really hard time not just eating it with a spoon...

Easy Homemade Caramel Sauce Recipe

  • 3/4 cup sucanat or rapadura *see note below
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (half n’ half will work too)
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract (how to make your own vanilla)
  • pinch of sea salt

homemade caramel sauce recipe

In a saucepan, melt the butter and sugar over low heat. You’re looking for the sugar to dissolve and the mixture to become smooth.

Pour in the cream and whisk well to incorporate.

homemade caramel sauce recipe

Bring to a gentle simmer and continue to stir/cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the caramel sauce is nice and smooth.

Remove from the heat and mix in the vanilla and salt.

Serve warm or cold. It will thicken as it cools. If it becomes too thick, you can gently reheat it before serving. Store in the refrigerator.

a simple, no-fuss recipe for caramel sauce--perfect for ice cream topping, apples, or fruit dip. I'm having a really hard time not just eating it with a spoon...

Kitchen Notes

  • I have made this both with sucanat (aka rapadura– a coarse, dark, unrefined cane sugar) and a lighter organic evaporated cane sugar.
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How to Can Pumpkin

How to can pumpkin-- it's possible! You can the cubes and then mash when you are needing puree. Easy peasy.

I don’t claim to have much of a green thumb…

But I can grow a mean patch of pumpkins.

Okay… Okay. Pumpkins are pretty easy to grow, so don’t be too impressed…But still… I’m going to take full advantage of my bragging rights.

This year I poked a handful of heirloom pumpkin seeds into my hugelkultur bed, just to see what would happen. (If you’re wondering “hugel-whaaaa??” then read this post). Last year, my maiden voyage as a hugelkultur gardener was a complete and total flop. But being the stubborn homesteader that I am, I decided to give it another try–after applying a generous amount old manure, of course. (Because manure fixes everything).

how to can pumpkin

Apparently, the seeds loved the whole hugulkultur-thang, and they thrived. I ended up with around a dozen happy pumpkins from just a small corner of my garden.

I saved a couple of the littlest pumpkins to adorn my dining room table (because they are so cuuuuuuuute) and set to work preserving the rest. In years past, I’ve baked my pumpkins (using my finger-saving, no fuss method),  blended them, and crammed the puree into gallon-sized freezer bags. But honestly? I was dreading the process this year…

I don’t like the whole freeze-the-pumpkin-in-a-baggie method because:

a) It’s messy to put in the pumpkin puree into the bag, and wastes a lot of pumpkin when you are trying to remove it.

b) It takes up valuable freezer space.

c) I am the WORST about remembering to thaw stuff before I need it, so having jars ready at a moment’s notice makes me super-duper happy. (This is the same reason I can my beef broth instead of freezing it...)

Therefore, you can imagine my homesteader-delight when I realize you can indeed can pumpkin. There are just a few rules you need to follow first:

How to can pumpkin-- it's possible! You can the cubes and then mash when you are needing puree. Easy peasy.

 The Rules of Canning Pumpkin

1) If you are going to can pumpkin, you must, must, must use a pressure canner--no exceptions.… [Continue Reading]

Maple Walnut Blondies with Maple Butter Sauce

maple walnut blondie cookie recipeThe cool weather we’ve been having has me in the mood for baking! Today Jamie from How to Do Just About Anything shares her mouth-watering recipe for maple walnut blondies with a decadent maple butter sauce.

There are few things better than biting into a brownie…

And this warm, maple walnut blondie, with a cold scoop of vanilla ice cream and hot buttery maple sauce dripping down the sides is brownie heaven.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love chocolate, especially since it contains a mineral many are deficient in. It’s my number one dessert of choice, but this blondie is definitely in my top three.

 

Applebee’s makes the maple blondie that inspired my creation. Every time I go there, which admittedly is only once every year or so, I indulge in the guilty pleasure of a maple blondie. The waitress brings the gooey dessert out on a cast iron skillet. The maple butter sauce sizzles on the skillet, as the sweet vanilla ice cream trickles down the sides.

And although it’s delicious, it’s loaded with unhealthy white sugar, white flour and who knows what else.

This recipe is something I really enjoy eating and don’t feel bad about serving to my family.

 

 One of the main ingredients is pastured butter which is one of the few sources of vitamin k2. This nutrient is vital for healthy bones and teeth and can be found in pastured animal products. Right now is a great time to use pastured butter before the cold weather of winter takes the grass away.

 

Blondies also typically rely on white chocolate chips to give them their moist, rich and mellow flavor. This recipe though uses coconut butter, which tastes amazing by itself, but gives baked goods that extra depth of flavor and creaminess.… [Continue Reading]

4 Ways to Save & Ripen Green Tomatoes

how to ripen green tomatoes

I was NOT happy…

…when I found out it was supposed to snow several weeks ago. The calendar had *just* turned to September, and I was not ready to pull out my muck boots and coats. Not to mention this was the first year in a long time that my garden was actually thriving!

So after I finished my little homesteader temper-tantrum, I realized I was faced with a very real problem: what to do with all of my lovely tomato plants, loaded down with very green roma tomatoes…

I agonized over this decision more than I care to admit. Part of me wanted to ignore the weather warnings and take my chances that the supposed snow storm would skip us. But my more cautious side won out, and after asking all the smart folks on The Prairie Homestead Facebook page, I came up with a plan of action to save my poor green tomatoes.

And I’m glad I did–it snowed several inches that night. Thankfully, I’m still enjoying fresh, homegrown tomatoes, weeks after our freak snowstorm, due to the measures I took. Here’s what I did:

how to save green tomatoes

How to Ripen (or Save) Green Tomatoes

You have a couple of different options when dealing with green tomatoes. Being the curious blogger-type that I am, I decided to experiment with several of these choices . Here are all the juicy details—>

1. Cover ‘em.

I’ll be honest–this option scared me a bit, and I worried my my rag-tag collection of sheets and quilts wouldn’t be enough. But, I decided to try it anyway.

I covered some of my plants with sheets, and then topped them with quilts. I tucked the ends of the blankets around the plants to seal them in as much as possible, used clothespins to pinch up the edges and corners, said a little prayer, and walked back into the house for the evening.… [Continue Reading]