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
Start to finish: 45 minutes (15 minutes active). Serves 9.
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
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Heat the oven to 350 F. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
+ Chopped toasted almonds or walnuts
+ Lightly salted roasted peanuts
+ Chopped candy bars
+ Maraschino cherries
+ Toffee pieces
+ Crushed chocolate cookies
+ Coconut shavings
+ Broken pretzels