Need an ice cream topping that is both easy and mind-blowingly good? Have some spare candy on hand? This creamy ganache, made using an assorted bag of fun-sized chocolate bars, is guaranteed to be your new favorite junk food splurge. But watch out, it's addictive!
I was obsessed with candy bars as a teenager, even more so after I gained control of my lunch money and succumbed to the powers of my high school's vending machine. I was a scrawny kid, so nobody seemed to be alarmed by the quantities of Twix bars I consumed in one day. (I still feel ashamed!) Unfortunately my love for sugar has not waned, but at least I've learned to better control my cavity-inducing cravings.
I don't buy candy bars any more. The few times I have all ended in mild disappointment: they are just never as good as I remember. (Snickers ice cream bars being the exception. They are stupidly tasty.) Come fall, however, I still get a brief feeling of excitement when Halloween candy begins to appear at the market. Thankfully one bag purchased early is usually more than enough to fulfill my need for childhood nostalgia.
I was shopping the other day, shaking my head at the sight of all the trick-or-treat decor already out, when I remembered a recipe I had seen for a Milky Way bar sauce for ice cream. Although they were never one of my favorites, I was intrigued by the idea of melting them into a creamy ganache. (I know, sounds good, right?!) As I stood in the aisle, I wondered if it could be made with any type of candy bar? I took a chance and tossed a grab bag of fun-sized bars into the cart.
As I tore open the tiny wrappers, I took the opportunity to sample the goods. (Job perk!) It was confirmed yet again: I no longer enjoyed the overly-saccharine sweets. Yet I had hope for this recipe, and one finger dip into the pot was all I needed to sway me to the dark side. This rich glaze was far greater than the sum of its parts. Once melted, the ganache became chocolate-y, caramel-y, and nougat-y all in one. It was quite literally the best parts of an ice cream sundae all in one dreamy sauce.
I have to warn you though, it is quite addictive. Despite my greatest efforts to enjoy in moderation, I kept finding myself alone with just the pot and a spoon. I couldn't say no! Call it pedestrian, or call it what you will. I'm going to call it my new favorite ice cream topping.
Creamy Candy Bar Sauce
Makes about 1 cup
fun-sized candy bars, like Milky Way, Snickers, and/or Three Musketeers
Tear the candy bars into pieces and place in a small saucepan along with the heavy cream. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the chocolate is melted and the sauce is creamy, about 5 minutes. Serve warm over ice cream (or enjoy plain with a spoon.)
Leftovers can be covered and stored in the refrigerator, and reheated on medium low.
12 fun-sized candy bars are approximately six ounces.
Adapted from Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros.
(Images: Nealey Dozier)