|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 6g||7%|
|Saturated Fat 4g||18%|
|Total Carbohydrate 28g||10%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||0%|
|Total Sugars 27g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Contrary to its name, hard sauce is not actually a sauce at all—nor is it actually hard. This traditional old-fashioned British recipe calls for creaming softened butter with sugar, creating more of a spreadable consistency than a smooth, pourable one. This delectable accompaniment is often flavored with rum or brandy but can be made with extract instead, making the dessert condiment ideal for little ones.
Hard sauce is often served with warm desserts, such as bread pudding, plum pudding, or hasty pudding, as well as other sweets like gingerbread and fruitcake. When rum or brandy are used (in which case the sauce may be referred to as "rum butter" or "brandy butter" respectively), hard sauce is commonly part of the Christmas and New Year's dessert buffet alongside Christmas pudding and mince pie.
"This is a very simple sauce or glaze you would be able to use on a variety of sweet dishes. Feel free to adjust the flavor to better fit your dish, or flavor as you need. Make sure your butter is softened for optimal results." —Tracy Wilk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons brandy, rum, or whiskey
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Ground allspice, to taste
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
With a standing or hand-held mixer, beat the softened butter until creamy.
Add the powdered sugar and mix while scraping the sides of the bowl, so the sugar and butter come together evenly.
Add the vanilla extract, brandy, rum, or whiskey, and spices.
Mix, scraping the sides again, to combine.
Spoon the sauce into a bowl.
Serve immediately and enjoy.
- For this recipe, it is very important that your butter is soft (but not mushy). If your butter is still somewhat hard, it won't blend properly and can't become creamy and spreadable; if it is too soft, it will create a consistency that is too smooth to be characteristic of hard sauce.
- The sauce will last in the refrigerator, covered in plastic wrap, for months. However, it will harden when in the fridge, so remove it and let it come to room temperature 2 hours before serving.
- For a special holiday dessert, press the sauce into a decorative mold before chilling. Turn it out of the mold onto a plate before serving.
- Alcohol-free hard sauce: Instead of rum or brandy, use rum extract.
- Lemon hard sauce: Eliminate the spices and alcohol. Replace with 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, plus 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest.