A nice suggestion for those whose names are on your small-gifts Christmas list might be some homemade sundae sauce. Pour it into gift jars and label it with directions for storage and heating. Then you can wrap it with fancy foil and store it in the refrigerator, ready to give. These toppings can be gift-wrapped as soon as they are completely cold.
Keep your friends' preferences in mind. In the spirit of the season, you might add a jar of crushed peanut brittle, peppermint candy, chopped peanuts, or toasted coconut to enhance the toppings.
Hot fudge and chocolate sauces seem to be the most popular with all ages. Nut-Fudge Sauce 2 cups granulated sugar 1 cup brown sugar 3 ounces (3 squares) unsweetened chocolate 3/4 cup cream 2 tablespoons butter 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup chopped nuts
In a saucepan, mix together the first 5 ingredients. Cook over medium heat until mixture crinkles around the edges of the saucepan. Remove from heat and add vanilla and chopped nuts. Pour into jar or jars, cover, cool, and refrigerate. To reheat, place jar in a pan of warm water. Old-Fashioned Butterscotch Sauce 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed 2/3 cup light corn syrup 1/4 cup butter, or margarine 2/3 cup evaporated milk 1/8 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon vanilla
Measure sugar, syrup, and butter into a medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar has dissolved and mixture comes to a full rolling boil. Allow to boil, undisturbed, for exactly 1 minute. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, stir milk, soda, and vanilla together. Stir this into cooled sauce. Pour into jars, cover, cool, then refrigerate. Makes 2 cups. To reheat, place jar in pan of warm water. Chocolate-Marshmallow Sauce 2 cups miniature marshmallows 1/3 cup heavy cream 1/3 cup honey 1 1/2 squares unsweetened chocolate 1/8 teaspoon salt
In medium saucepan over low heat, cook all ingredients, stirring constantly, until marshmallows and chocolate are melted. Serve hot. Makes 11/2 cups. To reheat, place jar in pan of warm water.