Hello, all. This is “Mason Jar Middle Sis” here (MJMS, if you’re in a rush), embarking on my first blog post for Mason Jar Lifestyle. Thanks for joining me on this journey!
A couple of weeks ago, my husband came home from the grocery store with an apple cake mix that he thought I might like. (Awwww.) The back of the box had instructions to turn the ingredients into a salted caramel apple crisp, which I thought I might like even more.
I gathered my ingredients and peeled and sliced several apples only to discover, after opening the box, that the caramel sauce was not included. Shoot! After digging through the fridge and confirming that we didn’t have any on hand, then digging through the pantry and confirming that the caramels we’d gotten “for Halloween” had all disappeared well before Halloween, I decided to make caramel sauce using ingredients we already had, which were sugar, butter, vanilla, and a can of sweetened condensed milk.
I’d never made caramel with condensed milk before; luckily, it turned out great! (Scroll down for the full recipe.) While it was still warm and gooey, I drizzled some of it over the apple crisp.
The rest went into a jar and into the fridge for later.
I only made a half batch, since I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but I’d recommend making a full batch if you do it yourself, since it’s easy to store and would be fun to share with people. I think this would make a great little gift for friends, so there’s really no reason to worry about making too much. You could bring a jar with you to share at Thanksgiving this year, or add a fun lid insert and a cute gift tag and give it as a holiday gift to anyone with a sweet tooth. It’s good with cake, ice cream, or even stirred into your hot cider or cocoa.
To turn this into a tasty treat to-go, you can put some sliced apples into a jar and a couple spoonfuls of caramel into one of our divider cups, then pop on a lid and you’re all set.
Since the divider cup is silicone, you can stick it in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds to soften the caramel before you eat it, if you prefer yours warm, like I do. That makes it softer for easy dipping/drizzling. (Just don’t heat it longer than that or the caramel might boil/burn.)
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some delicious caramel apples to enjoy.
Caramel Sauce Recipe
Makes about 2 3/4 cups
1/2 cup water
2 cups sugar
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Add sugar and water together into a medium sized, heavy duty saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a boil. Allow it to continue to boil, without stirring, for 10 to 14 minutes.
It will slowly start to darken. Tilt the pan occasionally to redistributed the mixture and keep the cooking even until it turns a deep caramel color. Remove from heat. Stir in sweetened condensed milk. It will bubble up and expand a bit, which is why you need a medium pan to keep it from flowing over the edge. Do not scrape the sides of the pan during this stage.
Add the first half of the stick of butter, one tablespoon at a time, thoroughly stirring after each piece. Stir in the remaining half stick of butter and vanilla extract until smooth. It will thicken as it cools.