I feel a little guilty that I haven’t been posting more because I have been doing a ton of Pinterest-y stuff for Christmas. I used to think that homemade gifts were only cute from kids under the age of ten, but Pinterest has taught me so much! I’ll try to get them all in before the New Year rolls around. Some can’t be posted due to people that may see their gift before they open them. Can’t have that! This one is safe because the kids gifts were already given to their teachers.
The original idea for this pin came from http://www.northerncottage.net/2012/05/teacher-gift-thanks-for-sweet-year.html which had these adorable little jars of caramel with an apple all wrapped in cellophane. I found this a brilliant idea! The original pinner said she cheated a bit and used store-bought caramel, which is fine, but as I had a caramel sauce recipe to try, I decided to make my own.
The caramel sauce recipe came from http://kneadtocook.com/sea-salt-caramel-sauce/ and I found the blogger there to be someone as amusing as I find myself! Be sure to check her out! The recipe is simple, which automatically makes it awesome, you just need to have patience, which I did not! My first batch was an amazing failure and went down the drain, but that second batch…….MMMMMMmmmmmm!
You start by mixing together 1 cup sugar and a half cup of water over medium-high heat, closer to the high side. You whisk and whisk until it’s well combined and let it boil. The patience part comes in here because you have to wait until the water evaporates and the goop leftover turns amber. Keep in mind that if you don’t, you will end up with something like this:
Weird looking, right? It does taste good, and yes I’m weird for trying it even though it looks gross, but what normal person would want to eat this?
Once your water and sugar has turned into an amber colored goop, add in 6 tbsp. of butter. It’ll bubble up, so be ready! Whisk again until it’s well combined. Once it’s mixed together really well, remove your pan from heat. Then you add in a half cup of heavy whipping cream, beware of bubbles again, and whisk until it’s mixed together really well. Is your arm ready to fall off yet?
Once it’s all a gorgeous caramel color, like caramel sauce should be:
I divided the caramel between 4 4oz jelly jars so I could gift them and was finally able to use the labels I bought months ago. They were mentioned here: https://superstevied.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/personalized-labels/ and they looked super cute on these tiny jars!
Once this was all cooled, sealed and labeled, I put a cute green apple on top, put the cellophane around it and tied it off with some of my Christmas ribbon. I threaded a tag through the ribbon before I tied the bow off. Miss Seeholzer, the one teacher I hand delivered to, looked at it like a kid and said, “Oh, I love apples!” I just like the idea of an upgrade on the “apple for teacher” and I think it came out great! Sorry if I didn’t get this up soon enough for you to do teacher Christmas gifts, but this would also work for an end of the year gift, so have fun with it!