Culinary Therapy: Salted Caramel

Sometimes, Zoloft just doesn’t do the trick. Sure, it’s great for the times when you need to go to work and function properly, or go out on the town and forget about your son-of-a-bitch ex-husband. But what do you do when the worst circumstances converge?

What is the solution when you haven’t gotten a text from your latest boy toy in days, your mom is black Friday shopping for your dad, your sister is doing the same for your brother-in-law, and you are crying uncontrollably in the middle of Macy’s?

This is the age-old question I was faced with yesterday. It’s sad when you break down in this “fuck life” state, because crying like a 5-year-old at a crowded department store doesn’t even embarrass you. It’s actually kind of liberating to give even less than a fuck about what the other shoppers think.

So what’s a girl to do? I slapped myself into problem-solving mode. Too much crying, not enough action. Luckily, my salty tears reminded me of the perfect solution: salted caramel.

New boys can’t solve your problems, but ladies: caramel always can. I had never made homemade caramel until recently, and I was amazed at how easy it was. I made it for inclusion in this beauty of a pie the first time:

I made the second batch for Thanksgiving dessert, and thank GOD I still had some left over to cure yesterday’s predicament.

Here is the super simple recipe I used, from the crazy lady on Food Network who eats only dessert and laughs awkwardly during her entire show. I stir in a pinch or two of salt at the end, it really brings out the flavor. Crying into the caramel is optional, and will work equally well. Not to mention the therapeutic benefits.

Enjoy, and cry on.

Anne Thornton’s Creamy Caramel Sauce (from

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups heavy cream


Combine the sugar and 1/3 cup water in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. This is the only time you can stir the sugar. If you stir it while it’s cooking, it turns to rock candy. Place the saucepan over medium to low heat until the sugars start to dissolve, 5 to 10 minutes. Then turn the heat up to medium-high and cook until the sugar starts to caramelize, 5 to 7 minutes. Do not stir while this is happening. You’ve got to watch the pot, because it goes from caramel to burnt really quickly. And be careful, the mixture is extremely hot!
Turn off the heat and stand back to avoid splattering. Slowly add the cream. Don’t panic – the cream will bubble violently, and the caramel will solidify. Just give it more time to liquefy again-trust me!
Simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until the caramel dissolves and the sauce is smooth, about 2 minutes. Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature, at least 4 hours. It will thicken as it sits.

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8 thoughts on “Culinary Therapy: Salted Caramel

  1. Homemade caramel looks so intimidating. But is so simple!! Nice and honest post. Do drop by my space sometime. I’d love to hear from you.

  2. Whitney Yang says:

    I wish boys were as loyal and satisfying as caramel…haha

  3. mstablefor1 says:

    That looks delish!

  4. […] be found here. I think I will give it out as super cheap Christmas gifts next year, alongside my salted caramel. Nom nom […]

  5. […] following my breakup (from my husband…. nbd…) have been full of ups and downs. Between sobbing in the middle of Macy’s and living it up with multiple one-night stands, life has […]

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