HomeWiththeLostItalian: DIY and impress with Aunt Margie’s Murderously Good Hot Fudge Sauce

If you’re still in need of some last-minute holiday gift ideas, especially for host or hostess and teacher gifts, then this week’s column was written for you.

I love to create edible DIY (do-it-yourself) gifts, and my Aunt Margie’s Murderously Good Hot Fudge Sauce is easy to make, decadently delicious and a fun way to show your appreciation.

This isn’t the first time I’ve shared one of Margie’s (Marjorie Mathison Hance) recipes in this column, where past favorites have included her Three-Herb Chicken and Mushrooms dish, the World’s-Best Sloppy Joes and a sunflower twist to her signature Peanut Brittle. These dishes have become family favorites for us, but Margie’s hot fudge tops the list.

Some holiday confections can be so fussy to make that they’ll leave me in a murderous state of mind (think divinity, sandbakkels and hard candy). But not this one. Rich, thick and super-chocolaty, Margie’s hot fudge sauce can be easily made in under 30 minutes, with just six basic pantry staples and a stovetop.

For holiday gift-giving, I’ll package the hot fudge sauce in a small (8-ounce) jar adorned with a custom label and colorful ribbon. A charming gift on its own, this murderously good treat is even better when partnered with a variety of homemade gifts, or my other favorite go-to gift — a good book. After all, could there be a better way to enjoy Murderously Good Hot Fudge Sauce than with a good whodunit?

Sarah’s Tips:

— Reheat on the stove or in the microwave until hot enough to drip easily from a spoon.

— For a sweeter, more milk-chocolate version, use 1 cup sugar and ¾ cup heavy cream.

— Perfect for hostess and teacher gifts when packaged in a jar with holiday trimmings.

Aunt Margie’s Murderously Good Hot Fudge Sauce

Makes: About 1 cup

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup heavy cream

3 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

In a small or medium saucepan, stir together the sugar and cocoa until combined.

Add the cream and butter and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly (a wooden spoon works best). The mixture will clump at first, and then become smooth and glossy. Boil for 30 seconds, then remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and salt.

Serve immediately with your favorite ice cream or cool and refrigerate for up to one month.