Caramel Is Good, but Salted Caramel Is Better: 10 Recipes to Try

Peanut butter and jelly, spaghetti and meatballs, chocolate and peanut butter. Some things are just better together, including caramel and salt. Just a pinch of the flaky stuff transforms the sweet sauce into a rich, complex treat that’s as satisfying as it is versatile.

From moist brownies and a boozy milk shake to a bread pudding and even a grilled cheese, find out how we like to celebrate this fan-favorite flavor in comforting recipes.

Just a single ounce of milk chocolate adds another level of richness to Food Network Magazine’s part-pudding, part-custard indulgence. Once the mixture has set, sprinkle each serving with salt for an easy yet elegant finish.

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Food Stylist: Jamie Kimm

Photo by: Charles Masters

Charles Masters

Food Stylist: Jamie Kimm

Boozy. Milk shakes. Enough said, right? These 10-minute showstoppers come together easily, thanks to prepared dulce de leche or caramel sauce.

Think of Food Network Magazine’s bourbon-spiked bread pudding as the ultimate make-ahead brunch treat. You can prep it before you go to bed, then wake up and bake it for impressive results.

Just as traditional caramel sauce is made better with just a pinch of savory salt, so too are classic brownies taken to the next level of indulgence when a swirl of caramel sauce and pinches of sea salt are added to the equation. Ina Garten’s recipe from Food Network Magazine gets its over-the-top richness from instant coffee granules, which boost the flavor of the chocolate in the brownies, not add coffee flavor.

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20120914_FoodNetwork_S22_PretzelThumbprintWithSaltedCaramel_0114.tif

Food Stylist: Stephana Bottom

Photo by: Johnny Miller

Johnny Miller

Food Stylist: Stephana Bottom

Not only are these cookies rolled in crushed pretzels before baking, but the dough is also made with pulverized pretzel powder (which you can make easily just by crushing the pretzels into crumbs in a plastic bag), so you get even more of the subtle salty flavor to balance the sweetness of the cookies.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Matt Armendariz, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Just as the name suggests, semifreddos are semifrozen treats. Tyler Florence’s recipe features layers of smashed gingersnap cookies and fluffy whipped cream that are frozen for just an hour, which is enough to set them before serving. He drizzles the individual desserts with a warm homemade caramel sauce, which gently softens them.

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fc_camembert_apple_v1.tif

Food Stylist: Maggie Ruggiero

Photo by: Sam Kaplan

Sam Kaplan

Food Stylist: Maggie Ruggiero

Not just for sweet treats, caramel sauce gets the savory treatment in Food Network Magazine’s quick-fix recipe. By infusing the caramel sauce with a few sprigs of thyme, you can add a fragrant note to the sandwich without overpowering it.

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08_Nectarine_025.tif

Photo by: Con Poulos

Con Poulos

Though apples may get much of the fame for being a natural complement to caramel sauce, they are not the only fruit to do the job. In Food Network Magazine’s easy recipe, juicy nectarines are nestled in a pool of sweet salted caramel sauce and then blanketed with a vanilla-scented batter, which will become the base of the dessert once it’s flipped after baking.

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FN1023121_OCT_CAKE_01.tif

Food Stylist: Stephana Bottom

Photo by: Levi Brown

Levi Brown

Food Stylist: Stephana Bottom

No matter whether you’re prepping for a birthday celebration or simply baking a just-because treat, Food Network Magazine’s towering indulgence features two times the orange marmalade: in the creamy ganache and between the layers of the rich chocolate cake. Just before serving, finish the cake with a drizzle of buttery caramel sauce and flaky sea salt to complete the wow-worthy presentation.

If you’d rather skip the swirling and drizzling of caramel sauce and simply enjoy the flavors on their own, stick with Ina’s fail-proof recipe for these two-bite beauties. Check out the step-by-step how-to to see Ina make them.

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