For the third installment of Toppings month, I bring you a recipe for the elusive yet glorious Peanut Butter Sauce. I was first introduced to peanut butter sauce during my childhood trips to Friendly's. Friendly's is a mid-atlantic restaurant chain, similar to a diner, that serves food and ice cream. In my home town, the restaurant served as a family dinner spot, a teenage hang out, and the place everyone met after a school or social event. I became fond of Friendly's more for the memories than the food, with the notable exception of the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Sundae. I could eat one of these sundaes each and everyday. The two primary ingredients - chocolate ice cream (my choice) and peanut butter sauce. Add some whipped cream, cherries, and a peanut butter cup and you have THE sundae.
Most of the time when I am near a Friendy's I stop in for a sundae. One time, I just ordered peanut butter sauce. The cashier looked at me like I had two heads, but it was totally worth it. I recently discovered that the peanut butter sauce I ate at Friendly's is Reese's Pourable Peanut Butter. And this is why the sauce is elusive - the sauce is only available gallon/4.5 pound tubs and until internet became popular it was impossible to find. I have scoured the internet for a list of ingredients to point me in the right direction but to no avail. Hershey's is being mysterious for a reason - probably because the sauce is so damn good!
My recent internet search came across a few copy cat recipes. I decided to try out a recipe that used corn syrup because I thought it would help the sauce be pourable. I am very pleased with the taste of the sauce; it is very close to the Friendly's version. However I am not 100% satisfied with the texture. The sauce hardens when you pour it onto the ice cream - the Friendly's version stayed in its liquid form, probably because of horrible additives but I'm determined to make a pourable sauce.
So here is version number one of Peanut Butter Sauce. Full of peanut butter flavor and a great compliment to vanilla or chocolate ice cream (try both!). My best friend loves peanut butter sauce on mint chocolate chip ice cream. She swears by it! Enjoy!
Peanut Butter Sauce
Adapted from recipe posted here
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
Salt to taste (I added about one teaspoon)
2 Tablespoons peanuts, ground
Combine first five ingredients (cream through vanilla) in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until all ingredients are dissolved. Remove from heat and transfer to medium bowl. Cool to room temperature. Once cool, stir in peanut butter. Stir, do not blend. It will look messy but keep stirring and it will be smooth. Add salt and ground peanuts.
Store in the refrigerator and warm to room temperature before using. To make more pourable, heat in the microwave briefly (about 20-30 seconds) and stir.