I shared with you a couple of weeks ago all about the differences between salted caramel sauce and butterscotch sauce. Buried in this post, I also shared my super easy homemade butterscotch sauce recipe. But, I felt like my easy homemade butterscotch sauce recipe was a little lost in the post and I just knew that if you knew how easy it really is to make homemade butterscotch sauce, maybe you’d give it a try. Plus, this easy homemade butterscotch sauce recipe is so easy and tasty that, coupled with the perfect storage container, would make the perfect holiday hostess gift. Just in time for holiday gift giving!!
The Difference Between Caramel and Butterscotch
I’ve always thought that caramel and butterscotch were pretty much the same thing – until I made salted caramel and homemade butterscotch sauce. To give you the cliff notes version of the differences, essentially caramel is made by melting down and cooking granulated sugar until just before it burns (key: just before it burns) then adding cream and a small amount of butter; a butterscotch sauce is made by gently boiling together butter and brown sugar along with the cream. There is also a definite difference in flavor – the salted caramel is smooth and creamy, while the butterscotch is much sweeter thanks to the brown sugar. I also think the butterscotch has a richer, sort of nuttier flavor.
This probably explains why I prefer the salted caramel sauce, while my husband prefers the rich flavor of homemade butterscotch sauce. I prefer more subtle flavors. While Lenny prefers robust and rich flavors. The boys in my family also have an issue with moderation – but, that’s another story.
Easy to Make Butterscotch Sauce
Compared to salted caramel sauce, this homemade butterscotch sauce recipe is a lot easier to make and a lot less finicky. I didn’t call it an “easy” homemade butterscotch sauce recipe for nothing! It really is easy to make. And, once you make it, the sauce should keep in the refrigerator for a month – but, once your family tastes this butterscotch sauce, you’ll be lucky if it makes it through one day.
There are a few ingredients and I’ll bet you already have these on hand. You’ll also want to have a heavy bottomed stainless steel 2 quart saucepan, wooden spoon, whisk and a container for your sauce.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup of firmly packed dark brown sugar
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- In a heavy bottomed stainless steel 2 quart saucepan, melt butter over low to medium heat. Just before butter is melted, add all of the dark brown sugar at once and stir with a wooden spoon until sugar is uniformly wet. (My aunt says using a wooden spoon is essential. I don’t know if it is or not, but she knows her stuff when it comes to butterscotch, so I’d use a wooden spoon if I were you!)
- Keep an eye on the sauce and stir occasionally for 3 to 5 minutes. The mixture will go from looking grainy to more like molten lava. Make sure to get into the corners of your pot when stirring and watch closely to notice how the mixture changes.
- The brown sugar should be caramelizing and will begin to look and feel more like liquid and less like thick wet sand. At this point add all the cream at once and replace your spoon with a whisk. Lower heat a little and whisk cream into sugar mixture. When liquid is uniform, turn heat back to medium and whisk every few minutes for a total of 10 minutes. Liquid should begin to boil during this time. After 10 minutes, turn heat off and let the sauce rest for a couple of minutes before transferring into a heatproof container. Let cool to room temperature.
- Once the butterscotch liquid is room temperature, take a small taste. It’s important to know what cooked brown sugar and butter tastes like, and what happens when transforming that flat sweetness into real butterscotch flavor. Whisk in half the salt and vanilla extract. Taste again. Add more salt and vanilla extract until you achieve that perfect butterscotch flavor.
- Chill butterscotch sauce in a container with a tightly fitting lid only after sauce has cooled completely. The butterscotch will keep for one month refrigerated.
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Weck Jars for Gifting
By the way, I just have to tell you about these Weck jars. I love them! And they are super adorable. They are the perfect container for gift giving, too! Whether you’re making homemade jams, jellies, salted caramel sauce or butterscotch sauce, these jars are the perfect storage container. You can find them here on Amazon (and they’re Prime eligible)! Who wouldn’t appreciate receiving your homemade and easy to make butterscotch sauce recipe in this adorable and functional storage container?
So how do you like to enjoy your butterscotch sauce? Served warm over ice cream? Or how about over banana slices? Or maybe with graham crackers?
Do you prefer salted caramel sauce or butterscotch sauce? This butterscotch sauce recipe is really super easy to make and not near as touchy as caramel sauce. Even though I prefer the taste of salted caramel sauce, I wouldn’t turn down homemade butterscotch sauce either!
Til next time…