Caramel Sauce

Photo by Food52

Some of the best things in life are made out of little more than butter and sugar: pie crusts, crêpes, and frosting, to name a few. But our favorite iteration of the dynamic duo is caramel — hands down. The gooey, melty mixture that emerges out of a pan of simmering sugar and butter is the stuff of dreams. But once the sugary goodness is packaged into individual candies, it is too often demoted to an occasional treat from the snack drawer when there’s a world of caramel to be had! Leftover caramel candies can transform a dessert or afternoon snack. Here are a few ways to use them to their full potential—right after you pop one into your mouth, of course:

Fudgy Brownies

Photo by James Ransom

1. Chop caramel, then fold it into brownie batter.

When you pull the brownies out of the oven, the chocolate base marbled with caramel will be irresistable — and so will the smell emanating from your kitchen.

Ice Cream

Photo by Alice Medrich

2. Ice cream

Melt the candies down in a small saucepan, then pour the mixture over ice cream for a slightly-hardened layer that will make even vanilla less, well, vanilla.

Photo by Food52

3. Sweeten your morning cup. 

Drop a caramel into your morning coffee or tea as a replacement for your sweetener, or drizzle some melted caramel over the foam on your cappuccino if you have a strong sweet tooth.

Caramel Apples

Photo by Alpha Smoot

4. Dip.

Melt the candies into a sugary dip for an afternoon treat that will make any fruit into an impromptu dessert. Those apples you keep on your kitchen counter have never tasted so good.

Caramel Salmon

Photo by James Ransom

5. Make it savory.

Melt a few caramels down and add them to soy and miso to make a caramel glaze for salmon. The sugar in the caramel will, ahem, caramelize and make you wonder why you haven’t done this a thousand times before.

Check out these other articles by our friends at Food52: