Thursday, December 6, 2012

Eggnog Caramel Sauce (easy homemade holiday gift idea)

I'm a firm believer that during December you should eat what you want and worry about calories later (like in January when you can't button any of your jeans). 

I ate three cinnamon rolls yesterday. 

See? Firm believer. 

I'm not even remorseful over my actions. I'd do it again. Sadly, we're out of cinnamon rolls. 

I'm also a firm believer in the power of a good sauce so over a month ago while plotting and planning Thanksgiving recipes, I started brainstorming about various sauces I could make to go with the dessert. Caramel sauce seemed like a shoe-in for the job until I happened to be in the grocery store one day. Between dodging the judging glares from other people while I let my infant crawl on the floor so she wouldn't scream and making the painstaking 1%, 2% or whole milk choice in front of the dairy case, I was hit with a sudden stroke of culinary genius - what if I used eggnog in my caramel sauce instead of cream? 

I grabbed the nearest carton of eggnog and when I got home I proceeded to make caramel sauce.

Only it turned out awful. Purely awful. Turns out I had grabbed the type of eggnog that is intended to be mixed with whiskey. Thoroughly discouraged and convinced my idea was horrible, I went to my in-laws on Thanksgiving and starting making boring old caramel sauce. 

Until my mother-in-law urged me to try the eggnog sauce one more time. I did and y'all, it was so very good! Especially poured over hot apple pie. Or cinnamon rolls (like I did yesterday without shame). 
This is my new favorite thing - and it only takes three ingredients! I'm thinking this might be the homemade nifty gifty I take to my neighbors this year. If I don't decide to hoard it all for myself. 

First, start off with granulated sugar in a saucepan. Heat that over medium-high heat, stirring often, until it starts to melt. It will get clumpy right before it begins melting so keep a close eye on it. 

As soon as the sugar has all melted and, wait for it...caramelized, you've accomplished the hardest part! Which really isn't difficult if you're an experienced stir-er. 

Pour in the eggnog - it will bubble up like crazy and the caramel will seize up immediately. But that's okay! 

Keep stirring and cooking the sauce over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves into the eggnog. This took me about 5-8 minutes. 

Then turn off the heat and whisk in 1 teaspoon of baking soda. 

And that's it! You can put this on anything from pie to ice cream to pancakes. Or in your coffee! 

I hope you get as much joy out of this as I did. You can easily double or triple the recipe if you want enough to share with your family and friends. 


Eggnog Caramel Sauce
yields about 3/4 cup

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup eggnog
1 tsp. baking soda

Pour sugar into a saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-high heat. As soon as the sugar starts to clump, watch and stir carefully. When the sugar has all dissolved into a. amber colored liquid - you've made caramel! Slowly pour eggnog into the pan, stirring constantly - the caramelized sugar with harden and seize up as soon as the eggnog meets it. Keep cooking and stirring the sauce until the sugar has dissolved, about 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in baking soda. Allow to cool. Store in a air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.  


  1. I was pretty nervous to make this--I just knew I would burn the sugar. But I didn't and it turned out A.MAZING! Thanks for sharing.

  2. P.S. I tried to pin this but it won't let me pin the images. Bummer.


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