Homemade caramel sauce may sound next-level, but it’s easy to make, takes only a few ingredients, costs close to nothing and tastes better than store-bought.
Set aside 1/4 cup heavy cream. In a medium saucepan, bring 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tbsp. water to a simmer over medium, whisking constantly to dissolve the sugar, about 2 minutes.
Once the liquid starts to simmer, stop whisking and let cook, without stirring, alternating between swirling the pan vigorously (this helps it cook evenly) and brushing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush (to melt sugar crystals that might form). Keep a close eye on the color: Watch for it to turn from clear to a honey gold, about 5 minutes.
Immediately take the pan off the heat—the sugar will continue cooking, darkening to the color of maple syrup—and quickly whisk in the heavy cream until blended. (Be careful—the mixture will bubble vigorously.) If the mixture separates and forms small clumps, simply stir over medium-low heat until the clumps melt and the caramel is smooth. Let cool completely, then refrigerate in an airtight container.
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