Most people have ice cream in the house on any given evening. But to make ice cream special you need a topping! Homemade caramel or butterscotch sauce is simple to make - so you can whip it up quickly for guests or for an impromptu ice cream sundae party!
The only difference between caramel sauce and butterscotch is the type of sugar used. For caramel you use white sugar and for butterscotch you use brown. All you need for either sauce is: 1 cup light brown sugar or white sugar (I used dark and it was fine!) 1/4 pound butter and 1/2 cup heavy cream, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Combine all ingredients (except vanilla and salt) in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes, until sugar and butter dissolve. Remove from heat and whisk to blend. Add salt and vanilla, stir to combine. Pour into container. I like to use glass so that you can reheat in microwave (10 seconds on high) or in a pan of simmering water, until it's the right consistency to pour over ice cream. I made the butterscotch sauce, although my sister mistakenly wrote "caramel" on the glass bottle! It was delicious over vanilla ice cream with smashed peanuts on top.