Yes, I know it’s mid-July. And when I think of caramel, I usually think Fall. Maybe you do too, but really, this frosting is a treat all year round. I decided to make it today and put it between some Pumpkin Spice cookies…which yes, screams FALL.
I have a confession. I have a family reunion tomorrow and even though I love to bake from scratch and take something I made all by myself, this year I needed some help from my friend, Betty. You might know her. She might be your friend too from time to time. Her last name rhymes with “rocker” and she makes these packets of cookie mix that get marked down at the end of certain seasons. I mean WAY down. I’m talking less than a dollar down. I’m talking so far down that it was too good to be true and after standing and staring unbelieving for 20 minutes or so trying to grasp and accept what was right before my very own eyes, I got a couple for “emergencies” and whatnot.
I don’t know if my situation today truly constitutes a baking emergency…I mean I had to time make frosting and all…but the mix was to expire next month and I couldn’t let it and my hard earned change go to waste. I don’t know. Sometimes a little help goes a long way. Sometimes you just need to do something different. It’s okay!
So anyway, Caramel Frosting. It’s good on cake too. Last year for Matt’s birthday (which happens to be in the Fall) I made him a chocolate cake and this frosting went quite well with it. I served it with pumpkin ice cream. Very Fall-like. Very delicious.
I didn’t want to take plain old cookies to the reunion, especially since I didn’t make them from scratch (and they’re out of season) so I thought, “What about a cookie sandwich? With that Caramel Frosting in the middle? I bet that would be good. I think people will like it. I don’t care if it’s the middle of summer and I should be making something with zucchini or peaches or blueberries or corn…”
Well, eventually, I stopped thinking and started doing. And here’s what I ended up with:
from The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion
makes 3 cups, enough to frost an 8- or 9-inch layer cake, a 9×13 inch cake or 24 cupcakes
8 T (1 stick) butter
1/4 t salt
1 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c milk
1 t vanilla extract
4 c confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)
What To Do
Melt the butter in a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Stir in the salt and brown sugar and heat the mixture to boiling, stirring constantly. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, until the sugar is totally dissolved. Stir in the milk and return to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool to lukewarm. Stir in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the powdered sugar. Adjust consistency with a little more milk, if necessary.
I used a whisk to stir when I added the salt, brown sugar and milk.
Be careful when you add the milk – it will sizzle!
Try not to eat all the caramel before you add the powdered sugar (LOL – but it’s SO good!)
I had to switch from a whisk to a spoon to a hand mixer as I added more powdered sugar. I guess I’m just not that strong.
I did have to add a little more milk to get it how I wanted it.
If you’re wondering how I stuffed the cookies, I used the star tip #21 to swirl the frosting onto the bottom of a cookie and then, obviously, put another cookie on top. I do have a little frosting left over (oh, I only made half the recipe) but I’m sure we’ll find a way to use it up.
Whatever time of year, this frosting will tickle your taste buds and make your treat extra special. I hope you have a great rest of your weekend! Family reunion, here I come!!