I don’t have a lot of time this morning, but I have been wanting to post this recipe for weeks. I’m finding I never have a lot of time, though, so I’m just going to sit down and do it. You need this before Christmas, trust me. I am really on a caramel kick right now and this sauce is hitting the spot. I’m showing it over ice cream; however, let’s be honest. I eat it by the spoonful and skip the ice cream. As you can see it’s a sweet caramel sauce, but what you can’t see is that it’s infused with just a hit of rosemary. The rosemary doesn’t distract too much. I just throw in a sprig during the last couple of minutes of thickening and it picks up just the right amount of flavor. It’s absolutely to die for and perfect for Christmas. I’m imagining it over bread pudding made with challah bread or croissants and with figs instead of raisins. I use Shatto cream, of course to keep it local, and I like to store the sauce after it’s finished in the glass bottle the cream came in. Both practical and darling if I do say so.
While I haven’t been as active this season with posting (I’ve been busy, busy making gluten-free cookie dough…more on that in a bit), might I remind you that I was quite the little blogger last season. The Eat Local for the Holidays was and is again in full swing, so I encourage you to take the challenge. You can still find local produce in Kansas City right now. Can you believe that?? I was at BADSEED Farmer’s Market last Friday, as I am most Fridays, and low and behold there was vegetation. This is a strange year. Usually eating local here in December means meat, honey, eggs, bread, flour, things like that. Now you’re entire feast can be locally sourced! Next Friday, December 23, is BADSEED’s Holiday Market. Please come. Everyone’s invited. Not only is it a lot of fun, but you can do some last minute shopping and maybe even win an awesome basket of goodies from all of the vendors. I actually won it last year and it made my Christmas. Hope to see you there!
I will leave you with some of my favorite posts from last season, because they are just as relevant this year. For instance, my favorite Christmas cookies. I will be making those again as tradition dictates. In fact, I’ve already been making marshmallows and I can make some for you, too if you’re in the Kansas City area! An 8×8 pan, which makes 16 marshmallows, made with agave nectar is $8 and made with local honey is $10. Free delivery this week in the metro area! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need a last minute gift (delivered) or you just want to have them at your own table. I also just released three new flavors of gluten-free cookie dough – Salted Caramel, Mesquite Chocolate Chip with Smoked Sea Salt and Honey-Lemon Ginger. This is in addition to what’s been called “the best chocolate chip cookie ever”, otherwise known as Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. You can buy the dough online and I will deliver for FREE this week in the metro area to you or as a gift (prices $12 – $14 per pound). Or I can bake you a platter of cookies and deliver, as well. Baked cookies on a platter are $20 per dozen. You choose the flavor(s). All of my cookie dough is gluten-free and I use freshly ground organic whole grains. I personally grind the flour right before mixing. It would make a GREAT Christmas gift for ANYONE! Don’t get too hung up on the gluten-free label. They are just really good cookies.
Moving on….don’t forget to make hot chocolate this year. A little splash of the caramel sauce in it would be amazing. You’re a little late for making homemade amaretto, but you can get it started and label it with a “drink on date” and still give it as a gift. Last month I posted liqueur recipes on the Slow Food Kansas City website from our event at Amigoni Wine, which is still my favorite wine, so that should keep you busy! Finally….
Merry Merry Christmas and thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to read my blog. God bless!
Rosemary Caramel Sauce
If you can’t find Sucanat, feel free to use evaporated cane juice. The Sucanat gives it a little bit more of a deeper flavor and darker color, which I enjoy. You could also use honey or agave nectar in place of one sugar or the other. I’ve done that. I haven’t used 100% of the liquid sugars, though. I would imagine it could work, though. I bet the honey, really good local raw honey, would be amazing.
Mix the sugars and water together in a heavy-bottomed 2 quart saucepan. Cook on low heat without stirring until the sugar completely dissolves (5 – 10 minutes). Now bring to a boil over medium heat and continue cooking for another 5 – 10 minutes or until it becomes a rich brown color (350 degrees on a candy thermometer – the safest way to go!). You can swirl the pan, but do not stir.
Turn off the heat and CAREFULLY/SLOWLY add the heavy cream and vanilla. The cream will violently bubble and produce a great deal of HOT steam, so take caution. Once it’s all added, simmer with the sprig of rosemary over low heat for a few minutes until the caramel dissolves (it will harden when you add the cream because the temperature of the cream is much colder than the the caramel – this is normal). Remove from the pan, strain into a glass measuring cup and cool completely.