50 Caramel Sauce Treats
Food Network Magazine dreamed up dozens of new ways to use a jar of caramel sauce.
You can use any jarred caramel sauce for these recipes, but avoid bottled syrups, dips and dulce de leche — they have a different consistency.
1. Caramel–Chocolate Chip Pancakes Whisk 1 cup milk with 1 egg, 4 tablespoons melted butter and 1/4 cup caramel sauce. Whisk in 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon each baking soda and salt; stir in 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips. Cook 1/4 cupfuls in a hot buttered skillet. Drizzle with more caramel.
2. Caramel Bacon Put 12 bacon slices on a rack set on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush with 3 tablespoons caramel sauce. Bake at 400 degrees F, 10 minutes. Flip and brush with 3 more tablespoons caramel. Bake until crisp, 12 to 15 more minutes.
3. Caramel Dutch Baby Preheat a 10-inch ovenproof skillet in a 400 degrees F oven, 10 minutes. Pulse 2 eggs, 1/2 cup each flour and milk, 3 tablespoons caramel sauce, 1 tablespoon melted butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender until smooth. Coat the hot skillet with 2 tablespoons butter, then pour in the batter. Bake until puffed, 20 minutes. Drizzle with more caramel.
4. Caramel Granola Toss 3 cups rolled oats with 1 cup each slivered almonds and sweetened shredded coconut and 1 teaspoon salt on a rimmed baking sheet. Warm 1/2 cup caramel sauce in a saucepan with 1/4 cup vegetable oil, whisking. Pour over the oat mixture and stir to combine. Bake at 250 degrees F, stirring every 15 minutes, until golden, 1 hour. Let cool.
5. Caramel Toast Toast thick bread slices and butter generously. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, then spread with 2 teaspoons each caramel sauce and sweetened condensed milk.
6. Cranberry-Caramel Cream Cheese Pulse 8 ounces softened cream cheese, 1/4 cup each caramel sauce, dried cranberries and chopped walnuts, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a food processor.
7. Caramel Apple Hand Pies Cook 3 peeled, sliced Golden Delicious apples with 1/4 cup caramel sauce, 2 tablespoons butter and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in a skillet over medium-low heat until softened, about 15 minutes. Let cool. Cut 2 rounds prepared pie dough into 8 wedges each; top 8 wedges with the apples, then cover each with another dough wedge. Crimp the edges; brush with a beaten egg, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake at 400 degrees F until golden, 15 minutes.
8. Spicy Pumpkin Caramel Sauce Heat 1 cup caramel sauce, 1/2 cup each pure pumpkin puree and water, 2 dried ancho chiles and a pinch of cayenne in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool; discard the chiles.
9. Coffee Caramel Sauce Heat 1 cup each caramel sauce and strong brewed coffee with 1 cinnamon stick in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla. Let cool; discard the cinnamon stick.
10. Stout Caramel Sauce Pour a 12-ounce bottle of stout into a saucepan; cook over medium heat until reduced by half, 15 minutes. Add 1 cup caramel sauce and 2 wide strips orange zest. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons orange juice. Let cool.
11. Cherry Caramel Sauce Cook 1 cup frozen cherries with 1 tablespoon cherry brandy over medium heat until softened, 10 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup caramel sauce. Let cool.
12. Ginger-Caramel Pear Upside-Down Cake Melt 1/2 cup caramel sauce with 2 tablespoons butter. Pour into a buttered 9-inch-round cake pan; tilt to coat the bottom. Cover with 2 peeled, sliced pears. Whisk 1 3/4 cups flour, 2 tablespoons chopped candied ginger, 1 teaspoon each baking powder and ground ginger and 1/2 teaspoon each baking soda and salt. Separately, beat 1 stick softened butter with 1 cup sugar; beat in 2 eggs, one at a time. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with 1 cup buttermilk, until smooth. Pour over the pears. Bake at 350 degrees F, 1 hour. Let cool 5 minutes; invert onto a plate.
13. Caramel-Pecan Sticky Buns Oil an 8-inch-square baking dish; spread 1/2 cup caramel sauce in the dish, then sprinkle with 1/2 cup crushed pecans. Slice two 8-ounce tubes crescent-roll dough into 8 rounds each; place cut-side down in the dish. Dot with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake at 350 degrees F until golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Invert onto a platter while still warm.
14. Caramel-Pumpkin Muffins Whisk 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup each sugar and chopped toasted pecans, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Separately, whisk 2 eggs, 1/2 cup each caramel sauce, pure pumpkin puree and sour cream, 1 stick melted butter and 1/4 cup light brown sugar, then stir into the dry ingredients. Divide among 12 lined muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees F, 30 minutes. Brush with more caramel while still warm.
15. Caramel Apple Dip Simmer 2 cups caramel sauce and 1/4 cup heavy cream in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons apple brandy and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Serve with apple slices for dipping.
16. Caramel–Chocolate Hazelnut Dip Warm 1 cup each caramel sauce and chocolate hazelnut spread in a saucepan, stirring. Serve with pretzels for dipping.
17. Caramel Monkey Bread Quarter the biscuits from four 7 1/2-ounce tubes biscuit dough; toss with 3/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Put half in a buttered Bundt pan. Top with 1/3 cup caramel sauce, the remaining dough, then an additional 1/2 cup caramel. Bake at 350 degrees F until cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes. Invert onto a platter while still warm.
18. Caramel Cereal Treats Bring 1/2 cup caramel sauce and 2 tablespoons butter to a boil in a large saucepan; cook 1 minute. Remove from the heat; whisk in 1/2 teaspoon each baking powder, salt and vanilla. Stir in 4 cups crispy rice cereal and 1/2 cup salted roasted peanuts. Transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and press into an even layer. Bake at 250 degrees F until dry, 1 hour. Cut into squares.
19. Caramel Brownie Bites Melt 3/4 cup chocolate chips with 4 tablespoons butter. Whisk with 2 eggs, 1/2 cup caramel sauce and 1/4 cup sugar, then whisk in 3/4 cup flour. Divide among 30 lined mini-muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees F until set, 12 to 15 minutes. Poke the brownies a few times with a skewer, then brush with more caramel while still warm.
20. Caramel Popcorn Balls Heat 3/4 cup caramel sauce until just starting to boil. Pour over 8 cups popcorn. Let cool slightly. Stir in 1/2 cup mini marshmallows and 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar. Form into 8 balls with oiled hands.
21. Caramel Mustard Stir together 1/4 cup each caramel sauce, whole-grain mustard and yellow mustard. Serve with pretzels.
22. Caramel Cornbread Whisk 1 cup each flour and yellow cornmeal, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt. Whisk in 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup caramel sauce, 4 tablespoons melted butter and 1 egg until combined. Pour into an oiled and floured 9-inch cast-iron skillet. Bake at 400 degrees F until a toothpick comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Brush with more caramel while still warm.
23. Chocolate-Caramel Bananas Warm 1/2 cup each caramel sauce and chocolate hazelnut spread in a saucepan, stirring. Insert a wooden skewer into 4 peeled bananas. Dip in the caramel mixture to coat; transfer to a baking sheet and freeze until slightly firm, 10 minutes. Dip in 4 ounces melted semisweet chocolate to coat; sprinkle with chopped nuts or sprinkles. Freeze until set, about 15 more minutes.
24. Caramel Poached Pears Peel, halve and core 2 pears. Combine in a saucepan with 1 cup each caramel sauce and water and 1 wide strip lemon zest. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, flipping the pears halfway through, until tender, 25 minutes. Stir in the juice of 1/2 lemon.
25. Caramel Applesauce Simmer 6 peeled, chopped Golden Delicious apples with 1/2 cup each caramel sauce and apple cider, 2 tablespoons butter and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, partially covered, until softened, about 25 minutes. Let cool, then puree.
26. Caramel-Apricot Baked Brie Slice off the top rind of one small Brie wheel; place in a large ramekin or small baking dish. Combine 1/4 cup each caramel sauce and chopped dried apricots and 1/8 teaspoon allspice; pour over the Brie. Bake at 450 degrees F until bubbling and the cheese is softened, about 15 minutes. Serve with sliced bread.
27. Caramel Rum-Raisin Trifle Bring 1 cup each caramel sauce, raisins and water to a boil in a saucepan. Cook 1 minute, then remove from the heat and stir in 1/3 cup dark rum. Spread 1 pound cubed brioche in a trifle dish or bowl; top with the caramel mixture. Cover with 2 cups thawed frozen cherries and 1 cubed pineapple. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Top with 2 1/2 cups each prepared vanilla pudding and whipped cream.
28. Caramel Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies Beat 1 stick softened butter with 1/3 cup each caramel sauce, granulated sugar and brown sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 minutes. Beat in 2 eggs, then 3 cups rolled oats, 1 1/2 cups flour and 3/4 teaspoon each baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt until combined. Stir in 1 cup golden raisins. Arrange scoops 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets; bake at 350 degrees F until golden, about 15 minutes.
29. Caramel Ice Cream Doughnut-wiches Bring 1 cup caramel sauce and 1 split, scraped vanilla bean (seeds and pod) to a simmer in a saucepan. Sandwich small scoops of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of the caramel sauce between split doughnut holes.
30. Coffee-and-Doughnut Caramel Ice Cream Stir 1 cup roughly chopped doughnuts and 1/2 cup each caramel sauce and chopped chocolate-covered espresso beans into 1 pint softened coffee ice cream. Freeze until firm.
31. Caramel-Chocolate Truffles Heat 1/3 cup each caramel sauce and heavy cream in a saucepan over low heat, stirring, until smooth. Pour over 8 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate; let sit until melted, 10 minutes. Whisk in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Let cool, then beat with a mixer until thickened. Refrigerate 2 hours. Scoop into small balls; roll in cocoa powder.
32. Caramel Brittle Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone mat; cover with a single layer of saltines. Bring 1 cup caramel sauce to a boil in a saucepan; cook, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes. Drizzle over the saltines, then bake at 400 degrees F until bubbling, about 7 minutes. Sprinkle with 1 cup chocolate chips; let sit 5 minutes, then spread the chocolate in an even layer. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup sliced almonds. Let set, then break apart.
33. Caramel Spiced Nuts Combine 1 cup nuts (any kind), 2 tablespoons caramel sauce and 1/2 teaspoon each chili powder, salt and pepper. Transfer to an oiled baking sheet; bake at 325 degrees F, stirring often, until golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool, then break apart.
34. Caramel Nut Clusters Combine 1 cup mixed nuts, 2 tablespoons caramel sauce and a pinch of salt. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls onto an oiled baking sheet; bake at 325 degrees F until golden, 20 minutes. Let cool. Drizzle with melted chocolate; let set.
35. Bourbon-Caramel Zabaglione Whisk 3 egg yolks, 1/2 cup caramel sauce and 2 tablespoons each bourbon and water in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water until light and foamy, 10 minutes. Serve with biscotti.
36. Caramel Funnel Cakes Heat 2 inches vegetable oil to 360 degrees F in a pot. Whisk 2 eggs with 1 1/2 cups milk and 1/2 cup caramel sauce. Whisk in 2 3/4 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon each nutmeg and salt. Pour into a squeeze bottle or funnel (covering the open end); drizzle into the hot oil to make a lacy round cake. Fry until golden, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels; repeat with the remaining batter. Dust with confectioners' sugar and drizzle with caramel.
37. Pumpkin-Caramel Cheesecake Pudding Beat 8 ounces softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup each caramel sauce and pure pumpkin puree and 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice until smooth. Whip 1/2 cup heavy cream until soft peaks form; fold into the pumpkin mixture. Mix 1/2 cup crushed gingersnaps with 2 tablespoons melted butter; press into the bottom of 4 small glasses. Top with the pumpkin mixture. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Top with more caramel and crushed gingersnaps.
38. Caramel Rice Pudding Combine 4 cups milk, 3/4 cup caramel sauce, 2/3 cup jasmine rice, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of nutmeg in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender and the liquid is mostly absorbed, about 20 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick. Divide among 4 small glasses; cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
39. Caramel Flan Put 1/2 cup caramel sauce in an 8-inch-round cake pan; bake at 350 degrees F until it starts bubbling, about 5 minutes. Let cool. Beat 4 eggs, one 14-ounce can evaporated milk, one 12-ounce can condensed milk and 2 tablespoons vanilla until smooth. Pour into the pan, then place in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and fill the dish halfway with hot water. Bake until the edges are set but the center still jiggles, 40 minutes. Let cool; run a knife around the edges and invert onto a plate.
40. Chocolate-Caramel Pudding Whisk 1/2 cup sugar with 1/4 cup each unsweetened cocoa powder and cornstarch in a saucepan, then whisk in 2 cups whole milk. Bring to a boil; cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in 1/2 cup each caramel sauce and chocolate chips. Let cool. Divide among 6 small glasses; cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
41. Caramel Bread Pudding Whisk 6 eggs with 2 cups heavy cream, 3/4 cup each caramel sauce, raisins and pecans, and 1 teaspoon each cinnamon and vanilla in a large bowl. Stir in 1 loaf cubed challah. Transfer to a buttered 9-by-13-inch baking dish; let soak 30 minutes. Cover with foil; bake at 375 degrees F, 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until golden, 15 minutes. Drizzle with more caramel; let cool slightly.
42. Banana-Caramel Pudding Cup Toss 1 sliced banana with 1/4 cup caramel sauce. Spread 1/4 cup prepared vanilla pudding in a small glass. Top with half of the bananas, then sprinkle with crushed vanilla wafers. Repeat the layers with more pudding, the remaining bananas and more crushed vanilla wafers.
43. Caramel Bananas Foster Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add 2 thickly sliced bananas and 1/2 cup caramel sauce; cook, stirring, until warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup dark rum. Increase the heat to high and cook, tossing, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve over ice cream.
44. Caramel-Banana Chia Smoothies Blend 2 chopped frozen bananas with 1 1/2 cups ice, 1 cup vanilla yogurt, 1/2 cup caramel sauce and 1 tablespoon chia seeds.
45. Caramel Egg Cream Stir 2 tablespoons caramel sauce into 3/4 cup cold milk; top with cold seltzer and stir well. Serve immediately.
46. Caramel Apple Punch Stir 1/2 cup caramel sauce into 3 cups room-temperature apple cider in a pitcher until dissolved. Add 1 sliced apple, 1 sliced plum and 1 cup halved red grapes. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. Stir in 2 cups chilled sparkling white grape juice.
47. Caramel Chai Lattes Simmer 3 cups milk with 1/3 cup caramel sauce, 1 cinnamon stick, 5 cloves, 5 cardamom pods, 1 teaspoon each allspice berries and coriander seeds and 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, 10 minutes. Remove from the heat; add 5 black tea bags and steep 8 minutes. Strain; add more caramel to taste.
48. Caramel Hot Cocoa Warm 4 cups milk with 6 tablespoons each cocoa powder and caramel in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking. Serve topped with marshmallows dipped in warm caramel sauce.
49. Hot Buttered Caramel Rum Bring 2 cups water, 1 cup dark rum, 1/2 cup caramel sauce, 1 tablespoon butter and 2 teaspoons vanilla to a simmer in a saucepan. Serve sprinkled with grated nutmeg.
50. Caramel White Russians Combine 1/2 cup half-and-half, 1/4 cup caramel sauce and 2 ounces each vodka and coffee liqueur in a shaker. Shake well. Serve over ice.
Photographs by Ryan Dausch