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Homemade salted caramel sauce, where have you been all my life?

Chelsea is the author of the food blog Chelsea's Messy Apron where she shares a wide variety of recipes including family-friendly and easy meals, lots of baked goods and desserts, and plenty of healthy eats. She received her BA in Exerci...

Salted caramel sauce. Sweet, salty and so dang good (especially in milkshakes).

By the time you finish reading this recipe, you will be able to think of nothing but homemade salted caramel sauce and salted caramel-chocolate milkshakes. You've been warned.

Salted caramel sauce is one of my favorite things to make from scratch. It's so much cheaper if you make it yourself, and you can control the amount of salt in the sauce and ultimately the flavor.

Plus, when you make your own, you can have it on hand to add it to lots of different desserts, like the decadent milkshake recipe below or for when there's a big bowl of vanilla ice cream lying around.

Salted caramel: how to make it and what to do with it

Start by pulling out and measuring all your ingredients to make the salted caramel sauce. This sauce requires constant stirring and/or whisking, so having all your ingredients ready to go is helpful for being able to continually stir the sauce.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir the butter until it's entirely melted, and then add in the brown sugar.

Salted caramel: how to make it and what to do with it

Briskly stir the brown sugar with the butter until it is completely combined and smooth. Stir the mixture constantly for 2 minutes on medium-low heat.

The mixture will barely start to bubble. Then it's time to add in the heavy whipping cream. Add in the cream straight from the container. For this recipe you will need heavy whipping cream, but it shouldn't be whipped. Briskly stir in the heavy whipping cream.

Salted caramel: how to make it and what to do with it

Continue to stir the mixture for another minute, and then add in the vanilla extract. Raise the heat to medium, and briskly stir for another 2 minutes.

The mixture should be the color of the picture below.

Salted caramel: how to make it and what to do with it

Remove the mixture from the heat. It will be relatively thick, but not as thick as a caramel sauce. Pour the mixture into a heat-safe jar, and place it in the fridge.

After about 30 to 45 minutes, the mixture will be a thick and delicious caramel sauce. Now it's time to stir in a little bit of salt to your desired preference. Then the sauce is ready to eat or use in various recipes.

1. Salted caramel sauce recipe

Salted caramel sauce

Yields about 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream (not whipped)
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Once the butter is completely melted, stir in the brown sugar. Whisk the mixture briskly and constantly for 2 minutes on medium-low heat.
  2. The mixture will barely start to bubble. Briskly stir in the heavy whipping cream.
  3. Add in the vanilla extract. Raise the heat to medium, and briskly stir for another 2 minutes.
  4. Remove the mixture from the heat. It will be relatively thick, but not as thick as a caramel sauce. Pour the mixture into a heat-safe jar, and place it in the fridge.
  5. After about 30 to 45 minutes, the mixture will be a thick and delicious caramel sauce. Now it's time to stir in a little bit of salt to your desired preference. Start with 1/4 teaspoon, and increase the amount of salt to desired preference.

2. Salted caramel and chocolate milkshake recipe

Salted caramel and chocolate milkshake

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • 2 scoops chocolate ice cream
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons salted caramel sauce (recipe above)
  • 1 tablespoon Nesquik chocolate powder
  • Extra salted caramel sauce to top (optional)
  • Miniature chocolate chips to top (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large blender, combine the vanilla ice cream, chocolate ice cream and whole milk. Blend until smooth.
  2. Add in the salted caramel sauce and Nesquik chocolate powder, and pulse to incorporate.
  3. Pour equal amounts into 4 glasses.
  4. If desired, top each with a drizzle of salted caramel sauce and miniature chocolate chips.
  5. Enjoy immediately.

More milkshake recipes

Eggnog milkshake with boozy pound cake croutons
Adult peanut butter and jelly milkshake
Java chip milkshakes

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