Butterscotch has become under rated recently; a close cousin to caramel, the flavor is incredible. Its one of my favorite things – I love the way it drizzles out of the jar in a golden buttery waterfall, hits the cold ice cream, then slides, slowly, over the creamy mound, pooling at the bottom of the bowl. The best part: the cold ice-cream causes the sauce to thicken into an almost candy-like consistency. That is, if you could think of a caramelly candy that it too rich and too soft to pick up…and could only be eaten with a spoon.
Mediocre commercial products, filled with additives are absolutely incomparable to the real thing. Both of these sauces take just minutes to make, and cost less than any jarred variety. I did a guesstimate on the pricing – it varies, of course, depending on the ingredients, but it’s much less expensive than one would imagine, and certainly costs far less than any jarred variety.
Use over ice-cream or drizzle on or under your favorite desserts, or make a home-made malt or shake…butterscotch keeps for weeks in the fridge – but I guarantee it won’t last that long! (Also a great way to use up a little cream if some is left over from another recipe.)
While Butterscotch doesn’t derive it’s name from Scotch Whiskey (some think it comes from the word scorch, probably from cooking the sauce until amber colored), a teaspoon or so of Whiskey, Brandy, or Rum instead of the vanilla is fantastic in these sauces. Just sayin’…
Rich Butterscotch Sauce
adapted from Fannie Farmer Easy, minutes to make, a little less traditional.
- 1 cup light brown sugar (okay to use dark brown sugar)
- 1 stick of butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 Vanilla, or your favorite extract or appropriate alcohol
In a small, heavy saucepan combine all the ingredients except for the extract, if using.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes or until the brown sugar dissolves. Be careful that the sauce does not burn. If necessary, reduce heat to avoid burning
Remove pan from heat, add the optional pure extract if using, and whisk well. Serve warm or cold.
I like to keep in a glass canning jar. Stores for weeks in the refrigerator. Yield: 2 cups
Butterscotch Sauce (from Joy of Cooking)
This is one of my favorites, and I think a little more traditional. It takes a little more care in the cooking process than the recipe above.
- 1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick)
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla, or your favorite extract or appropriate alcohol
Combine butter, water, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally until the butter is melted and the mixture is combined. Add sugar, stir until dissolved.
Increase the heat to medium-high and let the mixture boil (without disturbing) until the mixture begins to turn light brown. This will take somewhere between 4 – 8 minutes. If you see sugar crystals forming above the mixture on the sides of the pan, take a wet pastry brush and press to the side of the pan, allowing the moisture to wash them into the liquid mixture.
Remove from heat. Carefully and slowly (stand back a bit) and pour in the heavy cream, stirring until smooth. If the mixture seems lumpy, just return to low heat while stirring. This might be a good time to switch to a whisk. Add vanilla, and whisk again.
If serving hot, serve. If not, let cool till warm and pour into a well sealed container. Refrigerate until ready to use – I like to keep in a glass canning jar – keeps for weeks in the refrigerator. Yield, about 2 cups.
Either recipe will reheat in the microwave, and both are delicious.
Kitchen & Cooking Hack:
When measuring something sticky like maple syrup, corn syrup, honey, a quick spritz of the spoon or cup will allow the measured ingredient to slide right out. The measurement will be more accurate, especially if you are measuring multiple spoonfuls or cupfuls.