Apple cider and bourbon create a new twist on an old classic.

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I’m back from vacation!

Being back home is sad and lovely all at the same time. Honestly, if we stayed in Charleston any longer, we wouldn’t have wanted to come back. I literally ate just about everything Charleston had to offer. Hands down, my favorite Charleston dish was collard greens. You guys, they were top notch. I ate collards every single day–no lie.

Squirrel and I did a ton of fun stuff. We went on a horse-drawn carriage ride through the city and learned some fun facts from our very knowledgeable tour guide. We ate. Oh, boy did we eat. I mean, we ate everything. If you’re looking for a foodcation, Charleston is the place to go.

We didn’t rent a car; instead, we decided to save the money and hike our way through the town. It’s not a huge town, but when you’re walking it every day, you get some exercise. It worked out great, considering I ate just about everything in sight. The cobblestone streets just about killed me. I must have tripped and almost broke my ankles on several occasions. Do not wear heels in Charleston. I took one pair and they stayed stowed away in my luggage the entire time. Wearing heels in Charleston is like asking for a visit from death. One slip on the cobblestone, and you’re a goner.

I’ll be posting our trip in photos next week, so stay tuned for more on our foodcation.

This week’s #SundaySupper is all about sauces. My favorite sauce is caramel. The sweet, sticky, gooey sauce tastes like burnt sugar and goes great on just about anything sweet.

I decided to jazz things up a bit and make an apple cider bourbon caramel sauce. I know, right. Bourbon!

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In my humble opinion, bourbon makes everything better. It takes an ordinary recipe and adds depth. I love cooking and baking with it, so I always have a bottle in my cabinet.

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The apple cider adds a lovely sweet tang to the caramel. The flavor is unlike any other caramel sauce I’ve ever made. The bourbon adds hints of oak an vanilla. The combination is decadent.

Drizzle it over apples, and you have yourself a sweet treat.

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This has to be the easiest recipe for caramel that I’ve ever made. You’ll begin by reducing the apple cider. Reducing it concentrates the tangy apple flavor. Concentration equals flavor, and we’re all about flavor here on The Messy Baker.

After the cider reduces, you add the butter, brown sugar, and cream. Let it get all happy and bubbly. Allow the mixture to come to a steady bubble and whisk for 2 minutes. Take the mixture off the heat and stir in your bourbon. DO NOT stir in the alcohol while the pot is over the heat. That’s a big no. We don’t want your house catching on fire. Always remove the pot from the heat before adding any alcohol to your recipe. Got it. Great!

I don’t want anyone blaming The Messy Baker for a house fire. So, remove before booze. That’s our new motto.

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You’ll want to eat this caramel every single day of your life from here on out. You’re welcome.

Apple Cider Bourbon Caramel
Recipe Type: Sauce
Author: Jennie
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8 Ounces
Adapted from Southern Living
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick butter, salted or unsalted
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  1. Cook cider in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the cider reduces to 1/4 cup, about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Turn the heat up to medium-high and add butter, sugar, and cream. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. The mixture should boil vigorously for 2 full minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the bourbon. Cool the mixture completely. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
  4. To reheat, microwave for 10-15 seconds.

Don’t forget to visit the other saucy recipes:

Savory Sauces

Pasta Sauces and Pastas with Sauce

Entreés with Sauces

Sweet Sauces

Desserts with Sauces

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

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