Butterscotch Vanilla Bean Sauce – Made with butter, brown sugar, cream, and a vanilla bean, this sauce is just what you need to jazz up your ice cream!
One of the greatest things about cooking is the ability to make things you thought you could only enjoy at restaurants or bought from a store. If you told me that one day I’d be able to make croissants that rivaled those of any local bakery, I would have said you were crazy!
But after getting some confidence, I became a pro at making croissants from scratch! Now, there isn’t anything that I won’t try to make at home, as long as I have the motivation.
Most of my motivation to make fun things from scratch comes from things that I’ve tried at restaurants that I really, really want to have at home. Some of these inspirations include:
- Elvis Ice Cream Sundae – inspired by an Elvis burger I had at a local burger joint
- Avocado and Charred Corn Salad – inspired by the same salad served at a local Tex-Mex Joint
- Watermelon Margaritas – inspired from a marg I tried at a BBQ place in town
- Birthday Cake Remix Ice Cream – inspired from the famous creation at Coldstone Creamery
The list really goes on and on. And I have another special recipe to add to it today!
This Butterscotch Vanilla Bean Sauce was inspired by a sauce that I tried at an ice cream shop. I hadn’t had a butterscotch sauce in so long so I was intrigued when I saw it. I had to try it immediately.
I loved the little flecks of vanilla bean and the warm, comforting flavor of the butter and brown sugar. Mmm. And now I get to have it at home whenever I want!
Check out my homemade version!
Butterscotch sauce is similar to caramel but there is one key difference: caramel is made from caramelized granulated sugar, whereas butterscotch is made with melted brown sugar that does not get caramelized. Therefore, I find butterscotch to be a little sweeter and milder in flavor.
Because there is no caramelizing going on, the recipe is super simple to follow – no candy thermometer needed! But you will need to pay close attention to the mixture as it boils to make sure all the brown sugar is dissolved. Otherwise, you could get a gritty sauce. Yuck.
Here are a few other tips to remember as you make this sauce:
- I always use a rubber spatula when melting butter and sugar together. it helps me scrape off sugar from the sides and bottom of the sauce pan so it doesn’t burn.
- Make sure you add the heavy cream slowly and whisk as you pour. Otherwise, the cream will harden in the sugar and you’ll get a mess.
- If you finish your sauce and it ends up gritty, don’t panic. Just add it back to the heat and keep boiling for another minute or two until all the sugar dissolves.
- I’ve found that this sauce doesn’t reheat well after being refrigerated so I think it’s best to make the day you need it and keep it room temperature or over a warmer as you use it.
And that’s all there is to it! I hope this inspires you to make some more sauces at home instead of buying them. Chocolate sauce is also super easy to make at home. keep a look out for my own special chocolate sauce recipe later this month!
Butterscotch Vanilla Bean Sauce
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 stick butter unsalted, sliced
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 tablespoons water
- 1 vanilla bean split length-wise
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Add brown sugar and butter to a sauce pan. Heat over medium heat until mixture is boiling, making sure to stir constantly so the butter doesn't burn. Boil for 5-7 minutes to dissolve the sugar and remove the gritty texture.
- Remove from heat and slowly whisk in heavy cream and water. If mixture is still gritty, add back to heat for another couple minutes to cook and further smooth it out.
- Remove from heat and add salt. Scrape out seeds from vanilla bean and stir those into the sauce. Let sauce sit aside to cool down for about 15 minutes.
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More desserts you’ll love:
Salted Caramel Apple Pie Parfaits (with homemade salted caramel sauce)