sundae, fudgy sundae...

I’m not going to lie: I have high hot fudge sauce standards. I won’t eat hot fudge from a jar, and I rarely like the hot fudge at a soda fountain. I blame my mother.

Growing up, ice cream sundaes were the go-to family dessert when we wanted something sweet. My mother makes the hot fudge from scratch (yes, she’s a good mom) — the recipe is essentially a super-simple fudge recipe undercooked to form a sauce.

Because the dessert is simple and it’s summer, I decided to invite friends over for an ice cream social. (Or, as one friend calls it, an ICS. Another determined the acronym sounded far more like an important document than a social gathering, as in: Make sure those ICS’s are on my desk by tomorrow morning! Anyhow, I digress.)

I offered four different kinds of ice cream: vanilla, low-fat vanilla (I swear, you can barely tell the difference with Dreyer’s Slow-Churned), coffee and chocolate crackle, plus nuts, whipped cream and cherries. My mother asked me if I was going to have other sauce options besides the hot fudge, but I determined I’d just be offended if somebody opted for some squeeze-able strawberry stuff instead of my homemade hot fudge. And

these cute petal bowls are the perfect (and inexpensive) ice cream vessel.

I served this to friends for a wholesome evening of sundaes and
board games (if you ignore the rum-based mudslides also a part of the
evening), but it would also be a great gathering for kids (provided you
don’t serve them rum-based mudslides).

Hot Fudge Sauce

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 T (heaping) cocoa
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 T peanut butter
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla

Combine sugar, cocoa and milk. Cook on medium, stirring continuously.
After it comes to a full boil, cook for about 2 minutes, depending on
preferred consistency. Remove from heat and stir in butter, peanut
butter and vanilla. Serve hot over ice cream.

Note: This isn’t something you can make in advance, but it takes no
time to throw together. I recommend measuring out the ingredients
before guests arrive, and then whipping it up post-arrival. Also, be careful
not to overcook this concoction or you’ll end up with actual fudge or
something resembling Magic Shell — though maybe that’s your preference?