Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I love this time of year. 
I love that it's fall. 
I love that it's a time for family and good friends.
I love that we think a little more about everything we have to be thankful for.  I am so blessed and very aware of it this time of year.

Today I got to spend the day cooking.
You know that's my favorite kind of day.... home and cooking.
I was grateful for good girlfriends that dropped in today to visit for a few minutes.
I was grateful for a little package of Trader Joe's goodies that Jennifer sent me.
Among all the usual dishes I cooked for tomorrow I also made a new recipe.  I made it for a treat to take to my neighbor and I I saved a little for us. 
Spiced Apple Cider Bourbon Caramel

2 cups Apple Cider
1 whole Vanilla Bean, Seeds scrapped out and pod reserved
1 whole Cinnamon Stick
1/2 tsp grated Nutmeg
3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 cup Brown sugar
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
6 Tbsp butter, cut into tablespoon sized pieces
1/2 cup Heavy cream
3 Tbsp Bourbon

In a large sauce pan combine the apple cider, vanilla bean seeds, pod and cinnamon stick and bring to a boil.  Lower to a simmer and let reduce to approx 3/4 cup.  It should be syrupy.
Add in the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt.  Clip on a candy thermometer and cook without stirring until it reaches 240 degrees.  Add in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time and stir till melted .  Remove the vanilla bean and the cinnamon stick.
Remove from heat and add in the heavy cream and bourbon.  Heat on low again and stir until it starts to slightly thicken back up, about 5 min.
Let cool in pan 10 minutes and transfer to a glass jar.  It will firm up as it cools.  Keep refrigerated.  This sauce will last several weeks in the refrigerator.
(if I don't eat it all with a spoon)

I plan on serving it over pies or ice cream.  And I am thankful that I tried this recipe.  This was easy and will make great gifts.

I hope your Thanksgiving is full of great food and people you are thankful for.

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