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Meg is a staff writer for The Hudsucker. After going through high school thinking she “didn’t like to write,” she found her love for it her freshman year at college and it’s only deepened since then. Upon graduating from Rutgers University with a BA in Communication in 2013, she began working in online marketing for the hospitality industry. She currently splits her time between NYC, where she works, and NJ, where she lives—but hopes that one day she’ll be able to live & work in the same state (that’s the dream).

7 Rich and Tasty Recipes Celebrating Caramel You Are Going to Love

Caramel. It’s always been an appreciated candy and flavor but since about five years ago, when the world realized that if you add a lot of salt to it, it becomes extremely delicious — it seems like its star power really became became known. While not exactly a novel concept (adding salt to something amplifies the flavor? who would’ve guessed!), I find it difficult to hate on food trends if they are harmless. I especially find it difficult to hate on food trends if it means bringing attention to a food or flavor I really love, which usually results in an surplus of recipes and new food products containing it. And that is definitely how I felt and continue to feel about the salted caramel trend.

There are so many different types of baked goods that it works in, and caramel is my personal go-to when I want to change something up a little but am stumped on what to do. Here are some of my favorite caramel and caramel-containing recipes:

Caramel Sauce {via bakedbree}
Since caramel is something that can be made from scratch at home, it’s only right that we start here. Truthfully, it can be a little intimidating of a sauce to make at home since there are a few places where it can go pear shaped. And conflicting suggestions of the way to prepare it — water vs. no water, stir vs. don’t you dare stir, butter at the end vs. no butter at all — means it’s difficult to find a recipe or guide that is clear. But this was the first recipe that I ever used that ended with me having a delicious caramel sauce and not pot of frustration. The directions are so simple & clear that it becomes as close to fool-proof as possible. And most importantly, the results are delicious.

Image Credit: gail on flickr

Millionaire’s Shortbread {via brown eyed baker}
If Twix bars are one of your favorite candy bars then you’re definitely going to love millionaire’s shortbread. These bars are shortbread, caramel, and a chocolate ganache topping. They are sweet, gooey and probably my favorite way to eat shortbread. They are also heavy on the caramel (it’s the thickest layer) and you’ll see that the caramel here is kind of a cheaters caramel. This means it’s made with sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar, and corn syrup so it is miles easier to make than a traditional caramel sauce. So even if you are nervous about making caramel sauce, you won’t have anything stopping you from making these bars.

Old Fashioned Cocoa Caramel Cake {via trisha yearwood}
I love this cake. And that’s it! No, I have more to say, but that really is how I feel about this cake — it’s the ideal cake in every way. If you like chocolate and caramel and prefer them in versions that you can eat a fair amount of without feeling like you are going into sugar-overload, than this is your cake too. The chocolate cake is more of a cocoa cake (as the title suggests) than a deep, rich chocolate cake but that cocoa flavor paired with the caramel frosting is what makes it perfect. Now this frosting, while definitely delicious & worth it, is also definitely one of those tricky-caramel recipes. On the show, Trisha said that some times it just doesn’t turn out, but I make sure to follow her directions exactly and have always had to work for me. What does tend to differ is the thickness and consistency of the frosting, so if yours is thicker than the one in the picture, don’t worry.

Chocolate Chip Salted Caramel Bars {via two peas & their pod}
Remember how I mentioned that the addition of caramel is my go-to choice for when I want to change up a normal baked good? These bars are a prime example. The are simply a basic chocolate chip bar with a layer of salted caramel in the center. So chocolate-y, gooey, sweet, and yummy. Following the recipe, the caramel in these bars are caramel candies melted down with some cream, but I have used both caramel sauce that I’ve made and caramel sauce that I’ve purchased in place with no problem. It’s really all about whatever you have; the only kind of caramel I’d caution against using here is those little round caramel bits because they don’t melt down to how you need them to for this recipe.

Caramel Filled Snickerdoodle Cookies {via family fresh meals}
Snickerdoodles are not just Christmas cookies anymore! And really, there is no reason why they seem to only pop up around the holidays considering cinnamon sugar is spice combo that can be enjoyed year round. Feel free to have it in the hot summer months, especially when you get to add caramel to the batter. I love making stuffed cookies because it usually means that you are getting a bigger cookie due to the fact that you need to add extra dough to each mound to cover whatever it is you are putting inside. These caramel stuffed cookies definitely follow that pattern and it’s all the more reason to make them. There are instructions in the recipe on how to make this a smaller cookie but I really prefer these bigger, not just for the reason I stated, but because you really get the full amount of caramel that you need that way.

Image Credit: stacy spensley

Dulce de Leche en Tabla {via dominican cooking}
While not exactly caramel, dulce de leche is caramel adjacent. The flavors are very similar even though the makings to get there aren’t. Depending on your tastes and where you grew up, you might like dulce de leche better, and I have to admit it’s a hard question for me to answer. Caramel tends to be sweeter and dulce de leche has a richer more intense flavor — both are great in different ways for different recipes. These dulce de leche en tabla (or milk fudge squares) are actually pretty sweet though, because there are made with sweetened condensed milk and then more sugar. But despite all the sugarness, they aren’t teeth pain-inducing sweet at all. Instead, they are a nice treat with a delicious flavor.

Salted Triple Caramel Cupcakes {via sally’s baking addiction}
These cupcakes are caramel heaven, as they have the flavor in three different ways. The cake is brown sugar caramel, the frosting is caramel, and they are topped with a little caramel candy. While the actual cupcake isn’t anything to wave off, the real draw here is the caramel frosting. It’s essentially like a big, huge caramel sitting on top of the cake and it’s definitely one of those frostings that is hard to keep a spoon out of. I have also thought that if you wanted to get extra crazy, you could fill these cupcakes with caramel sauce, making them a quadruple caramel threat, but I haven’t tried that out myself yet. The cake seems to be one that would hold up to filling though, and who wouldn’t want more caramel?

What is your favorite recipe using caramel?

Featured image is from gail on flickr.

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