Happy National Caramel Day! Of all the food holidays, I'm pretty sure this is my favorite. Caramel is one of my all time favorite sweet flavors. It's sweet, buttery, and ooey gooey. Seriously, what is not to love about that?
And then sometimes, it's salted and the world stops for just a sec. All those flavors plus a hint of salt. STAHP IT. So good.
Besides the party it brings to your mouth, the applications for caramel are so easy. Add it to just about any dessert to make it over the top. A drizzle here, a drizzle there. Your family and friends are going to be so impressed.
The process of making caramel is much easier than it seems, but can be a daunting task if you like to stray from the stove. Real promise, if you can commit to standing in that area for 20 minutes it will reap some heavenly rewards. This Homemade Salted Caramel from Sally's Baking Addiction is one of my favorites. The directions are easy to follow whether you're a novice or a pro. Plus there's a video and lots of step by step photographs for the visual learners (right here!)
In honor of this fabulous food holiday, here are my favorite go to caramel recipes from previous Hunger|Thirst|Play posts.
These salted caramel chocolate cupcakes are legit. Rich, fluffy chocolate cupcakes with a creamy, gooey salted caramel center, chocolate lover's buttercream and a sprinkling of sea salt on top. The extra effort of cutting out a little center will pay off big time in taste...and applause, if you decide to share!
You may end up with a little extra salted caramel afterwards, but I'm not really seeing the problem with that. Add it to a canning jar with a little twine and send it off for an unexpected present to someone you're thinking about!
The ultimate chocoholic snack gets a major facelift with salted caramel. These brownies are everything you dream about in a fudgy, decadent chocolate craving. Drizzled with salted caramel before baking they're even more fudgy, these salted caramel brownies will melt in your mouth in seconds.
Bonus Recipe: Buttercrunch Toffee
Technically not a caramel by name and made with brown sugar as opposed to granulated, Buttercrunch Toffee brings that intoxicating caramel flavor that is obsession worthy. My favorite part of this recipe is that it's super fast to make, a huge crowd pleaser, and a holiday must have treat. No for real, if I show up without butter crunch there will be some serious stink eye and probably coal in my stocking.
Whether salted, regular or with a crunch, I hope you get a gooey treat today in celebration of National Caramel Day!