My favorite page of December's Food & Wine is page 130: Perfecting Caramel. Yes, please. I mean, I think caramel is pretty perfect, but what would be even more perfect is if I could make it myself. The page includes three straightforward recipes, but the easiest (aka, doesn't require a candy thermometer), is Classic Butterscotch Sauce. Seven basic ingredients, six of which I already had, go into this simple but delectable sauce, and it only takes about 20 minutes from start to finish (excluding cooling time). It's dark, rich, and doesn't taste anything like this:
Classic Butterscotch Sauce (Food & Wine, December 2009)
Makes 2 1/2 cups of sauce
* 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
* 1/2 cup light corn syrup
* 1/4 cup water
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 3/4 cup heavy cream
* 2 Tablespoons Scotch whiskey (I thought it tasted even better with 3!)
* 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, water and salt. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves (about 5 minutes).
2. Stir in the heavy cream and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Add the whiskey and vanilla extract and simmer for an additional 2 minutes over low heat.
4. Cool (this will take several hours) and transfer to jars.
Can be refrigerated in jars for 3 months.