State testing started this week at school. It is quite possibly my least favorite time of year…everyone is at a high level of stress, DATA becomes a “four letter word”, and kids are ready to burst into tears at any given moment because the pressure they feel is real. It’s all just a little too much.
When life gets hectic, I make caramel. I’m sure this sounds counter intuitive, because let’s face it, caramel has this bad reputation for being a bit of a pain in the neck to make(among other body parts, if you catch what I’m saying.) It’s a little high maintenance, at best. Yet, for me, it works.
The gentle stirring and attention required allows my brain to take a break from the 8,342 things running through my head and focus on the simplicity of being in my kitchen. It grounds me and takes me back to memories of my happy place- being alongside my mother as she whipped up her classic caramel popcorn.
In the past few months, I’ve worked on tweaking her recipe for caramel popcorn into just a caramel sauce, and I’ve finally met the combination that I love. Still simple, still quick, with just a bit more versatility. It’s Betty’s Classic Caramel, with a Twice Around twist.
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 sprinkle of good sea salt
Melt your butter in a pan over medium heat. Once melted, add brown sugar and stir. Cook for appox. 5 minutes, stirring continuously until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in the heavy cream and vanilla. Allow the mixture to cool a bit, and then pour into jars… or over ice cream…or a brownie… or eat it by the spoonful! You get the idea.
Usually, I’ll make this and throw a jar into the fridge, but honestly, it never lasts long in there. Even as I’m typing this, the nearly empty jar is sitting on the counter. (DH is a bit of a candy face and well, I spy a spoon in the sink that has his fingerprints all over it. It’s been 4 days since I made the caramel, folks. 4 DAYS.)
At any rate, there’s no reason to be intimidated by this caramel. Go on, give it a try, and impress everyone! Hey, stay tuned, and even try it out in our Salted Turtle Pot de Cremes!