My list of favorite recipes changes all the time.
I get in moods.
But there’s usually a few that linger in the top 5 or 10 for a while. Like years.
This one was an imagined concoction years ago. But when I created it for a story a few Christmases back I knew it would make it to the top ranks. I loved that I could mix the flavors of a rich, homemade caramel with that genius combination of spices we use in gingerbread cookies, spice cake and all things holiday. Oh this is so good! (if I do say so myself)
If it lasts long enough, and you haven’t drizzled it on everything in sight or dipped every solid piece of food in it–this sauce makes the best gift.
Last year I bought the cutest little mini jars online for just a few dollars and gave this away to close friends. Tie on a little spoon if you are extra crafty and nice. My friends know I didn’t do this last year, but friends, that doesn’t mean I don’t love you. I do.
I handed a jar to my friend’s daughter at church with instructions to give it to her mom, and whispered in her ear how I made it and what it tasted like. Her mother later told me that it was never given to her, but that Elsa claimed it as her own and could barely wait to get home and eat it.
Lesson: Hand it directly to the receiver of the gift. It’s too tempting to trust it to a middleman. Middle woman. Or middle girl.
- 3 cups sugar
- ¾ cup water
- 1½ tbsp light corn syrup
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1½ tsp ginger
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
In a large saucepan combine sugar, water and light corn syrup. Bring to a boil, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Wash down crystals inside the pan with a wet pastry brush. Cook, without stirring, until an amber caramel forms, about 6 min. Remove from heat; stir in heavy cream and butter. Caramel will bubble.
Stir in cinnamon, ginger and cloves, pour into small glass jars; let cool. Refrigerate for up to 2 months.
Such an easy and elegant gift.
Recipe by Tara Bench
Food stylist Chelsea Zimmer
Prop stylist Elizabeth MacLennan
Originally Published in Ladies Home Journal December 2013