As you guys may have noticed from some of my posts, I have a tendency to kind of maybe blur the lines between fiction and reality. I love to read (although, thanks to this guy, if I try to read anything more substantial than Entertainment Weekly, I fall asleep in about 5 minutes.
Anyway. Blurring reality. Fact and fiction. After I finish a book (or a TV series), it seems like I can’t start something new for a few days because I have to process the fact that those characters and that world aren’t a part of my world anymore, at least not actively.
I was a little kid that lived in another world. And then, as I approached my teenage years, it was kind of like the real world became a sad, hard place and I felt like I lost that ability to become lost in another place that existed in my imagination; I thought that was some sad, inevitable part of growing up. And then I graduated from high school and went to college and discovered Harry Potter and also discovered that that part of me wasn’t gone. I love the Harry Potter books because they taught me to believe in magic again, that I could lose myself in the world of Hogwarts or Katniss Everdeen or Dillon, Texas or Star’s Hollow or Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.
(Yes, I just took 15 precious minutes when i could have been sleep-reading to Mad Men myself. It was totally worth it.)
So yeah. Harry Potter. I’m not sure how it happened exactly, but Harry Potter has kind of become part of our Christmas traditions in our family. Maybe it’s because the movies often came out around Christmastime, or because there were almost always Christmas scenes in the books and movies, but we always end up spending a few days around Christmas holed up watching Harry Potter movies when the weather is ugly. So…while butterbeer isn’t warm or spicy or traditionally Christmas-y in any way, it’s a part of that magical world that I have so many happy memories of.
I swear up and down every year that I’m not going to post any more recipes that require a candy thermometer because there are so many variables when it comes to candy and that it is hard to get good, consistent results when people across all sorts of elevations, humidity levels, and skill levels are trying these recipes. And yet, here I am posting a candy-ish recipe, and I’m gonna do it again next week. I’m a glutton for punishment.
That said, this is the easiest, most forgiving candy recipe on the blog. All you have to do is get to 240 degrees and then you’re good–you don’t have to watch for certain colors or consistencies or smells or boil it for 9 3/4 minutes after you get to 240. You’ve just gotta get there.
If you’re planning on making butterbeer, pop 4 large glasses or beer mugs in the freezer and 4 12-ounce bottles of cream soda into the refrigerator.
For the salted butterscotch, you’re going to need 1 cup of brown sugar (dark or light, just depends on your preference), 2 tablespoons water, apple cider vinegar (weird, I know, but there’s so much sweetness going on here you need something to cut it), kosher salt, heavy whipping cream, and rum extract.
In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar and water. Heat, stirring frequently, over medium heat until a candy thermometer registers 240 degrees. Reduce heat to low and, whisking constantly, add in butter, salt, and vinegar and whisk until smooth. Slowly stir in 1/4 cup of the heavy cream, reserving the rest for later, and whisk until smooth and combined and then remove from heat. Add the rum extract and allow to cool to room temperature. You can use this as a sauce/ice cream topping/syrup, or you can save it for the butterbeer.
To make the butterbeer, combine 2 tablespoons of the salted butterscotch with the remaining 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
and whip with electric beaters until soft peaks form. Set aside.
Pour 1/4 cup of the butterscotch (approximately) into each of the chilled glasses.
whisk in 1/4 cup of cream soda in each glass so it becomes frothy. Then add the remaining cream soda to each glass.
Divide the whipped cream mixture evenly among the four glasses and serve immediately.Print
Butterbeer with Salted Butterscotch Sauce
If you love Harry Potter and all of the magical world that comes along with him, you’ll love this Butterbeer Recipe too! Complete with Salted Butterscotch Sauce!
- 1 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 6 tablespoons salted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup heavy cream, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon rum extract
- 4 12-ounce bottles cream soda
- In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar and water. Heat, stirring frequently, over medium heat until a candy thermometer registers 240 degrees. Reduce heat to low and, whisking constantly, add in butter, salt, and vinegar and whisk until smooth. Slowly stir in 1/4 cup of the heavy cream, reserving the rest for later, and whisk until smooth and combined and then remove from heat. Add the rum extract and allow to cool to room temperature. You can use this as a sauce/ice cream topping/syrup, or you can save it for the butterbeer.
- To make the butterbeer, combine 2 tablespoons of the salted butterscotch with the remaining 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream and whip with electric beaters until soft peaks form. Set aside.
- Pour 1/4 cup of the butterscotch (approximately) into each of the chilled mugs or glasses. whisk in 1/4 cup of cream soda in each glass so it becomes frothy. Then add the remaining cream soda to each glass. Divide the whipped cream mixture evenly among the four glasses and serve immediately.
While this sounds delicious, I would love to see a warm version of butterbeer for cold winter evenings.
I have a quick question. If you make the salted caramel for butterbeer, does it only make enough for 4 glasses? I am throwing a Harry Potter party for 14 kids and I need to have enough to go around. Thanks!
I made this recipe the other day with some friends. We made butterbeer and watched HP #1 (Daniel Radcliffe was just so darn cute as a little boy). We also made cake balls that we called “Golden Snitches”. Thankfully we didn’t finish them that day – my friend finished them after they were frozen. If we had I’m pretty sure we both would have gone into a diabetic coma!
The butterbeer was delicious! But now you’ve got me on an HP kick and it won’t end until I watch all of them!
I planned to make the butter beer for Christmas dinner. I had everything ready and began to make it but when I went to put in the whipping cream, I couldn’t find it in my fridge. I searched everywhere but nothing… I asked my family and soon discovered that my young adult daughter that has Down syndrome had used it for her chocolate milk. ummmm… rich chocolate milk! It was in a small carton like the ones she had at school lunch. Because it was Christmas day I couldn’t go get more, so I substituted milk and cool whip… it turned out way….. way… too sweet. Someday I hope to try it again with real whipping cream, which I will hide better.
When I first read the Tim Riggins Brownie post, I had no clue who/what you were talking about. I recently watched the entire Friday Night Lights series (in a matter of days) and now I totally get it! I was so lost in that show I didn’t want it to end! In fact, after it was over, I googled all the characters. I don’t know if I just wanted to see them again or if I had to confirm that they were really “people”! Pretty sad, I know.
p.s. Love your blog! Just received the new cookbook in the mail.
When I said “maybe we should try it” I meant my family, not anyone else. Just so I don’t come across sounding too queenly.
Oh, Edith. 🙂 First of all, your second comment was one of my most favorite comments EVER–I literally laughed out loud.
We read a LOT of comments everyday and some of them are not so nice. Before I read this comment today, I was thinking about how so many people say so many nice things to us every day, but it’s those 2 or 3 rude comments that get under my skin and that I keep coming back to every day. And yours was not one of them. We COMPLETELY welcome constructive responses, criticism, and alternative ideas. Had you said, “You’re a disgusting sugar harlot who doesn’t have any idea what she’s doing!”, then I might be miffed. 🙂
I totally get this being too sweet–for my husband and I, it was definitely more of a little novelty taste, something fun to have around, but it was a LOT to drink. So you make a good point. Diet cream soda is an option, but then you’re dealing with that yucky artificial sweetener aftertaste. I think the cream soda adds an element to this recipe, so I probably wouldn’t leave it out altogether–maybe mix it with some carbonated water?
Another thought I had was to make it like an Italian soda and use a bit MORE of the butterscotch sauce to mix with plain carbonated water, adjusting it to however sweet you want it to be.
Anyway. I’m glad you commented. If everyone left criticism like you did, the world would be a better place. 🙂
I’m so relieved! I really felt bad after leaving that first comment. I tend to follow my mom’s motto–“Everyone is entitled to my opinion.” And my dad’s parents were theater people, so I tend to be dramatic. I’m glad you took it so well.
I love Best Bites so much that I recently found myself thinking that if I couldn’t find a recipe for something I needed on this site, then I’d have to change what I was going to make.
That said, I have a confession: This Butterbeer recipe is so sweet and rich that it was TOO MUCH. Even my youngest daughter, who proudly proclaims herself a sugar-fiend, could not drink this. It gave a couple of us heart burn.
Maybe we should try it with just carbonated water? I loved the idea of whipping the cream with the butterscotch sauce. I am thinking I will do that with your buttermilk pancake syrup, which we all love. Hey, maybe I’ll just use that for our next go at Butterbeer!
Do you know how many of those cute little jars can be filled with your yummy sauce recipe? Or how many cups your sauce yields?
So glad to hear that I am not the only one who feels like it takes a few days to clear my head and realize it was a book! I get lost in the characters and their worlds. Hunger games left me with a “book hangover” for a few weeks. It was hard. I have actually never had butter beer before. This sounds amazingly yummy!