Caramel Spiced Apple Cider

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Last weekend, the Husband and I drove up to Hampton Beach, NH for a half-marathon. It was our second half marathon, and even though we walked the whole thing we finished it 13 whole minutes faster than last time, so I was pretty pleased. And Hampton Beach was everything a New England beach town should be.

Unfortunately, it was raining and windy basically the whole time we were walking, so we were thoroughly soaked and freezing by the time we were done. When we got home, a hot shower was a must, and so was a nap (we had to wake up at 4:30am to get to New Hampshire on time for the race). But before we napped, I put on a slow cooker full of this caramel spiced apple cider to greet us when we woke up:

Easy slower cooker recipe for a sweet, tasty cup of caramel spiced apple cider. Great for cold fall mornings and holiday parties. | Fall treat | Holiday drinks | Party drink ideas | Mom Makes Joy

Easy to make and a delicious treat, this cider is sure to be a crowd-pleaser the next time you host a holiday gathering! Or the next time you walk 13.1 miles in the rain. Either one, really.

INGREDIENTS

First, be sure you have the following ingredients in your kitchen:

DIRECTIONS

In a small square of cheese cloth, place your peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and whole allspice. Cut a small strip of cheesecloth off the side and use it to tie up your mulling spices as shown below.

(Now you can do these mulling spices a couple different ways if you want. A typical mulling spices recipe will usually include some kind of orange oil or orange rind, so you could include that as well and omit the orange juice we’ll add later.)

Now that our spices are ready, we will want to make our caramel sauce. To do this, place a half cup of sugar in a saucepan. I filled a 1/4 c. sized measuring cup up about 3/4ths of the way with water and tossed it in with the sugar and stirred until I had a thick sugar water. Turn the stove on low or medium-low and let your sugar caramelize/brown.

Be sure to keep a constant eye on your caramelizing sugar! It always seems like one minute it’s not quite ready yet and the next it’s burning.  In about 5-10 minutes of cooking time, you should start to see the edges of the sugar become a darker brown. At that point, stir your sugar water and turn off the stove. Your sugar should be a golden brown color when you stir it.

Next, add about 1.5 Tbsp of butter to your golden brown sugar and stir before adding about 1/2 cup half and half. Slowly pour in your half and half as your are stirring the sauce. By this point it should thicken up and look something like the caramel sauce pictured above.

From here, pour about 10 cups of apple cider into a slow cooker with 1/2 cup orange juice {or omit orange juice if you added orange rind to your mulling spices}, pour in your caramel sauce, and stir. Lastly, plop in your cheesecloth-wrapped mulling spices:

Let your cider cook on low for about 4 hours or until it’s adequately warm and mulled! You can store leftovers in the fridge and reheat in a microwave safe mug for later enjoyment :) The drink is sweet, so it works as a dessert in itself!

Now go make your cider, find a cute mason jar mug and a bench outside, and enjoy the fall! This is where I’ll be if you need to find me:

My favorite bench in Harvard Square, Massachusetts
I hope you enjoyed this post! Do you have any apple cider recipes near and dear to your heart? I would love to see them! Leave a link in a comment, or just leave some comment love if you enjoy the fall as much as I do :)

Love,
Gabby

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