Lavender Caramel Sauce and End-of-Year Musings

Inspiration for this oh-so-delicious post comes from my friend Suzanne in South Carolina to whom I am forever grateful because the combination of caramel and lavender is stupendous! This is the time of year when thoughts are on gift-giving and if you have dried culinary lavender on hand, this recipe is a must-try. As many of you know, my preferred lavender choice for cooking is the 'hidcote' variety. 

As I gear down for winter, I'm looking forward to taking a bit of a break from the outdoors to focus on a writing project during the cold season. I'm so very thankful for all of your support, suggestions, and encouragement over the past year.  

Wishing each of you a beautiful, blessed, and happy Christmas! 

Lavender Caramel Sauce

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 Tbsp. dried culinary lavender buds
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
2 tsp. homemade lavender liqueur (Click for Recipe)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine heavy cream and lavender buds in a small saucepan; place over medium heat just until mixture is very hot. Watch constantly and do not boil. Remove from heat and let stand until completely cool. Strain mixture, discarding lavender buds, and set aside.

Place sugar, water, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan, stirring to combine with a wooden spoon. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and once it begins to boil, do not stir. Boil for 5 to 10 minutes or just until mixture turns an amber color. Carefully remove from heat and slowly add the heavy cream, a little at a time, whisking constantly until combined. Add the lavender liqueur and vanilla extract, stirring to combine. Carefully pour the warm sauce into jars and let cool completely before adding lids or tops. Store in the refrigerator. Makes about 3 1/2 cups.