This 2-Ingredient Caramel Sauce Contains A Boozy Twist

Two-ingredient recipes always seem kind of suspicious — is this yet another attempt to convince us that mashed bananas + oatmeal = cookies, or avocados + yogurt = ice cream? Some dessert recipes, though, can be as simple as strawberries and whipped cream or ice cream and fudge sauce and still be delicious. This sauce, we'd say, falls into the latter category, as it involves nothing more than cooking up sweetened condensed milk (which tastes great straight out of the can) and then stirring in a bit of Irish cream liqueur.

To make the sauce, pour the sweetened condensed milk into a pan, cover it with foil, put it in a larger pan partially filled with water (a bain-marie, if you want to use Food Network-approved terminology), and then cook it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours. Once it sets up semi-solid and turns, well, caramel-colored, stir in enough liqueur to make it as thick or as thin as you'd like it to be. Note: The liqueur does not need to be Bailey's since a cheaper alternative like Kirkland Signature Irish cream or the Connellys brand sold by Aldi will work just fine. You can also save some significant green and make your sauce zero-proof by using Irish cream-flavored coffee creamer instead of the booze.

Leave out the booze and you'll have dulce de leche

Sweetened condensed milk + heat alone makes for a delicious dessert topping called dulce de leche. The method described above, whereby the condensed milk is baked in a water bath, may be considered a safe method of making dulce de leche since this dessert can also be prepared by boiling an unopened can in a pan of water. Doing it the latter way, though, does come with a slight risk of having the can explode.

While dulce de leche can be eaten on its own as a pudding, if you cook it a bit less, it will remain thin enough to serve as an easy one-ingredient caramel sauce that can be drizzled over cake or ice cream. If you let it thicken up to a more custard-like stage, though, it's perfect for making the British dessert known as banoffee pie. Banoffee is a portmanteau word combining bananas with toffee, and the dulce de leche serves as the "offee" part of the pie. The quick and easy way to make this dessert is to take a pre-baked pie crust (a crumb one is fine), then pour in the cooked condensed milk. You can use the Irish cream-flavored caramel sauce here, too, as long as you hold back on the liqueur so the sauce stays thick enough to hold its shape. Top the caramel with a layer of sliced bananas, then blop whipped cream all over the top, and dig in.