We’re really spoiled at my office. We have a Keurig machine and 2 Nespressos with a built-in milk foamer; there’s no excuse to go to Starbucks ever.
That being said, there are certain drinks I always crave, like sweet lattes with rich caramel sauce swirls. Even if it’s not worth standing in line 20 minutes and shelling out $5, it’s certainly worth taking the time to make it at home for pennies and an infinite supply.
I’m not a pumpkin-spice fanatic, but I do love the earthy flavors in coffee, especially mixed with rich, buttery caramel. I tried Ina Garten’s caramel sauce last year, loved it, and vowed to make it again and again. This was the first time I made it since then(oops). It’s amazing that a little salt and spice changes the flavors completely. This could go in anything from coffee to oatmeal to even squash.
I don’t recommend using a candy thermometer for this because by the time you have it calibrated right the caramel will burn. It’s best to just watch it closely, use your judgement, and buy an extra set of ingredients because it’s the easiest thing in the world to mess up the first time(but worth giving it a second try!).
Pumpkin Spice Caramel Sauce(Adapted from this recipe)
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Ingredients(Makes about 1 1/2 cups):
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 1/4 cup heavy cream, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Combine and mix the sugar and water in a medium-sized pot.
- Bring the sugar water to a rolling boil and maintain. Once the water is boiling make sure not to touch it with a utensil.
- While the water is boiling, mix the vanilla and cream in a cup.
- Watch the sugar water carefully as it changes from white to a soft green to a hazelnut. When it turns a reddish-brown, remove quickly from the heat. Don’t let it get to a solid brown or the sugar is too burnt.
- Off the heat pour in the cream and vanilla extract. Stand back as it sizzles and may splatter.
- Once the caramel’s calmed, return it to the heat and start stirring as it’s just below boiling point. The caramel will have clumped and hardened.
- Continue stirring until the clumps have dissolved into the cream and it’s an even color and consistency.
- Remove from the heat and add in the spice and salt. Continue mixing as it cools to get the clumps of spice out.
- Once cooled, store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.