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‘Ever have a day where you’re feelin’ a little bit saucy?

A day in which you don’t want to limit your choices to just one of anything?

Or even two? Because, on this day, it really is all about you.  Why pick and choose?

Why limit yourself?  Because today, there is no room compromise or sensible choices.

 

Today. You. Want. It. All.

Are you picking up what I’m throwing down?

Excellent! Because today, I am feeling a little bit saucy:  Hot Fudge, Salted Caramel, and Marshmallow saucy, to be exact. Forget the store bought stuff. Store bought is so ordinary. Stand out from the crowd. Make your own dessert sauces. It really couldn’t be easier–and I’m just the gal to show you how.

First up: a classic Hot Fudge Sauce.

12 oz. evaporated milk

2 C. (12 oz.) dark chocolate chips

½ C. granulated sugar

1 Tbs. butter

1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract

Pour the evaporated milk into a medium saucepan.

Add the dark chocolate chips to the milk. Dark chocolate chips make the sauce incredibly rich. You can substitute semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips, if you prefer.

Pour the granulated sugar over the chocolate chips, and heat on the stove over medium heat. Stir constantly until everything has melted, and mixture is boiling. Whenever I am heating sugar on the stove top, I like to stir it constantly so that it doesn’t scorch on the bottom of the pan. Burnt sugar = not very tasty.

Turn off the heat. Stir in butter and vanilla until blended. Try not to eat the hot fudge directly from the pot with a spoon. Serve immediately over ice cream, cheesecake, chocolate sheet cake, or brownies. Or drizzle it over fresh fruit. Or pound cake. Or…you get the idea.

Then make some Salted Caramel Sauce:

1 C. granulated sugar

¼ C. water

2 Tbs. light corn syrup

¾ C. heavy whipping cream

4 Tbs. butter

1 ¼ tsp. salt

In a small sauce pot, heat the sugar, water, and corn syrup over high heat until boiling; stirring occasionally.

Increase heat to high, and boil until sugar mixture turns a deep amber color; stirring occasionally. (Between 6-8 minutes total.)  This is after 5 1/2 minutes–it’s light amber, but it’s not quite dark enough.

This is almost 7 minutes, and it’s a perfect medium amber. Stop here. If you are not sure of the difference between light and medium amber, err  on the side of caution, and turn off the heat.

Because if you let it go even a minute longer, this happens. A dark, burnt amber. Burnt is the key word. This is at 8 minutes: the caramel burned, and I had to start over. Believe me, you don’t want the smell of burnt sugar lingering in your kitchen.

So when the caramel is a medium amber color, turn off the heat and stir in the butter, salt, and vanilla. Allow sauce to cool completely before serving, as it will further thicken as it cools. Serve over ice cream, cheesecake, chocolate sheet cake, or brownies. Or drizzle it over fresh fruit. Or pound cake. Or frozen cappuccino cups. Or…are you seeing a theme, here?

Put a major emphasis on drizzling salted caramel over Frozen Cappuccino Cups. Major emphasis. It’ll make your heart sing.

Of course, putting an emphasis on Salted Caramel Brownies isn’t such a bad thing, either. You really can’t go wrong.

But before you get too involved in drizzling salted caramel, be sure to make a Marshmallow Sauce:

2/3 C. granulated sugar

Pinch of salt

¼ C. water

3 Tbs. light corn syrup

2 C. mini-marshmallows

1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, heat and stir the sugar, salt, water and corn syrup over medium heat, until boiling. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Turn off heat, and add the marshmallows and vanilla extract to the pan. Stir the marshmallows continuously, until they have completely melted. Serve sauce warm over ice cream, cheesecake, chocolate sheet cake, or brownies. Or drizzle it over fresh fruit. Or pound cake. Or…you know the rest.

 

 

Or you can drizzle a bit of hot fudge on a graham cracker, then drizzle on a bit of marshmallow sauce for a really gooey s’more. Or if you are the patient type, you could wait for both sauces to cool completely so that you can spread them on the graham crackers with a knife.

 

I could have done that, but that wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun to watch son #3 try to eat it without getting sticky hands.

Because today was all about me, and I’m saucy like that.

 

Hot Fudge Sauce

Makes 1 ½ pints

12 oz. evaporated milk

2 C. (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips

½ C. granulated sugar

1 Tbs. butter

1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract

 

  1. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, heat milk, chocolate chips, and sugar until boiling; stirring constantly.
  2. Remove from heat, and stir in butter and vanilla until blended.
  3. Serve warm, or transfer to a storage container to cool completely.
  4. Cover and refrigerate.
  5. To serve: uncover sauce and reheat in the microwave for 30-60 seconds on high, or until warm and pourable.
  6. Serve over ice cream, brownies, cheesecake, chocolate sheet cake. Or eat with a spoon right out of the fridge. (I’m only kidding. Kind of.)

VARIATION: For a Mayan style fudge sauce, stir in 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon, and a hefty pinch of chipotle chili powder. Seriously good stuff.

 

Salted Caramel Sauce

Makes 1 ½ Cups

1 C. granulated sugar

¼ C. water

2 Tbs. light corn syrup

¾ C. heavy whipping cream

4 Tbs. butter

1 ¼ tsp. salt

 

  1. In a small saucepan, combine sugar, water, and corn syrup.
  2. Heat over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  3. Boil over high heat until mixture turns a medium amber color, between 6-8 minutes. Watch carefully, because mixture goes from light amber to dark amber/burnt very quickly. I usually end up heating the caramel for about 7 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat, and carefully whisk in heavy cream, butter, and salt. The caramel will bubble up and hiss when you add the other ingredients, before relaxing. This happens when adding cooler ingredients to hot sugar. Just be careful to keep your hands/arms as far away from the steam as possible when adding, to avoid a steam burn.
  5. Allow the caramel to cool to room temperature before serving.
  6. Serve over ice cream, cheesecake, brownies, chocolate sheet cake, grilled fruit—just about anything.

 

Marshmallow Sauce

Makes 1 scant pint

 

2/3 C. granulated sugar

Pinch of salt

¼ C. water

3 Tbs. light corn syrup

2 C. mini-marshmallows

1 tsp. vanilla extract

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat sugar, salt, water, and corn syrup to boiling; stirring constantly.
  2. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 3-4 minutes; stirring occasionally.
  3. Turn off heat.
  4. Stir in marshmallows and vanilla until well blended and smooth.
  5. Serve warm over chocolate ice cream.
  6. Allow any leftover sauce to cool, and store covered in the refrigerator.
  7. Sauce is spreadable right from the refrigerator, or it may be reheated. To reheat leftover sauce, uncover sauce and microwave on high heat for 30-60 seconds, or until warm and pourable.
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