Gift homemade jars of caramel bourbon sauce to your foodie friends this holiday season

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Treat the foodies in your life–yourself included–to this luscious caramel sauce. Made without butter, the cream-based caramel holds its texture well even when cold. This caramel sauce is pourable right out out of the fridge, which means you can pull it out at the last minute to drizzle over cake, ice cream, or even your morning latte. While the combination of intensely caramelized sugar, cream, vanilla, and bourbon makes this sauce tasty enough to eat on a spoon by itself, you can also skip the alcohol if you’d like for a classic caramel sauce.

Start by cooking sugar over medium-high heat until it’s melted and a deep amber color. Be sure to keep the mixture moving by stirring often with a long handled spoon. Once the sugar is fully caramelized, carefully add the cream while stirring gently. Don’t panic–the mixture will bubble intensely and the sugar will seize after you add the cream, but it will melt again as you continue to stir it over the heat. Continue to cook the cream and sugar for about 10 minutes until the sugar is completely melted. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the vanilla, bourbon, and salt. Let it cool completely before pouring your caramel sauce into jars with a spouted measuring cup or ladle.

You can warm the sauce slightly before serving–say for a hot caramel brownie sundae–or serve it cold straight out of the fridge for a thicker sauce. The sauce can be stored for up to three weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The recipe makes eight cups, enough for eight half-pint jars or 16 four-ounce jelly jars. Tie a little note on with ribbon to let your recipient know how to store the sauce as well as some creative serving suggestions–dipping apples into it, pouring it over pie, drizzling it over popcorn, or using it to finish off a bread pudding.

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