When a basic bowl of ice cream just isn't enough

June 22, 2011 

Start with a pan of rich fudge brownies. Add a couple quarts of your favorite ice cream. Cook up a couple batches of some outrageously delicious sauces. Whip up some cream. Fill bowls with a variety of crunchy and gooey toppings. It's the formula for a seriously awesome sundae bar. And it's a lot easier than it sounds.

SERIOUSLY AWESOME SUNDAE BAR

Brownies

Start to finish: 45 minutes (15 minutes active)

Makes: 9 servings

12-ounce package semisweet chocolate bits

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-by-9-inch pan with cooking spray.

In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate bits and butter on high for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour and salt. Add the eggs and vanilla, then whisk until smooth. Whisk in the melted chocolate-butter mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool for 15 minutes before cutting.

Hot Fudge Sauce

Start to finish: 10 minutes

Makes: 1 1/2 cups

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup corn syrup

8 ounces semisweet chocolate bits

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the heavy cream and corn syrup. Microwave on high until hot and bubbling. Add the chocolate bits and let sit for 2 minutes. Gently stir until the chocolate is completely melted and combined with the cream. Cover to keep warm.

Butterscotch Sauce

Start to finish: 20 minutes

Makes: 1 1/2 cups

1 cup brown sugar

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 to 2 tablespoons scotch (optional)

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar and butter. Cook until the mixture melts, stirring occasionally. Carefully add the cream (it will sputter), then the corn syrup and salt. Continue to cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar, vanilla and scotch, if using. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Mango Sauce

Start to finish: 5 minutes

Makes: 1 cup

10 ounce package frozen mango, thawed

1/4 cup agave nectar or honey

1/4 cup orange juice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until completely smooth. Add additional orange juice, if needed, to make a thick but pourable sauce.

Strawberry Topping

Start to finish: 20 minutes (5 minutes active)

Makes: 2 cups

1 pound fresh strawberries, stemmed and chopped

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon orange liqueur (optional)

Toss the ingredients together in a bowl and allow to sit for 20 to 30 minutes, or until visibly juicy.

Whipped Cream

Start to finish: 5 minutes

Makes: 3 cups

2 cups heavy cream

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form.

Purchased Toppings

  • Chopped toasted almonds or walnuts

  • Lightly salted roasted peanuts

  • Chopped candy bars

  • Maraschino cherries

  • Toffee pieces

  • Crushed chocolate cookies

  • Coconut shavings

  • Broken pretzels

  • Sprinkles

  • Bananas
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