Saturday, January 17, 2009

Maple Caramel Sauce

2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup pure maple syrup

In medium saucepan, over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add sugar and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Adjust heat to medium. Boil for 2 minutes. Add maple syrup and boil, stirring frequently for 2 - 4 minutes. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Pour into heatproof jars.

Jason and I made this sauce all from organic ingredients. It's quick, simple, and makes three jars. The cost comes out to about $4 per jar so it makes for a really great gift. The sauce can be used on ice cream, pancakes, anything that could be "sauced!" The sauce should be heated before using. The sauce is good for two months after it's been made, and Jason and I wrote the expiration dates on small labels and affixed the labels to the bottoms of the jars so the gift recipients would know until which date the sauce could be used.

Jason and I used Ball half-pint (8 oz.) canning jars. We purchased 12 for about $7 from Ace Hardware. The jars' lids also created a semi-seal since the sauce was still rather hot when we poured the sauce into the containers. We also used a funnel to pour the sauce into the jars. A funnel can be purchased for around $1 and is also useful for other things, like pouring leftover pasta sauce back into jars and so on. We've found loads of uses for our funnel.

While the jar in the picture has no adornments, feel free to add a make a label and tie it around the jar to indicate what the sauce could be used for and directions for using. You could also add a wooden honey dipper to the gift for an easy way to use the sauce once heated.

I gave a jar to Jason's brother and sister-in-law as a gift when we visited them, and I also made a jar for my dad's birthday. I kept one jar for Jason and I, and yesterday, I used some sauce on ice cream. I scooped some of the sauce, which was quite hard, into a ramekin and heated it for 30 seconds. I would not recommend heating it for that many seconds, though! It was burning hot. I would recommend stirring it before serving it after it's been heated. One really cool thing I experienced was that when I put it on the ice cream, it formed a sort of hard shell, like some of the Hershey's ice cream sauces do. It was really yummy though and tasted very gourmet.

1 comment: said...

I am very excited about your knitting projects Jess!

And I have a cross stitch project Jason did when he was quite young. Next time you come over I'll have to did it out for you.