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Hard Sauce

Hard Sauce for Mincemeat Pie

At every Thanksgiving dinner I remember, a big bowl of Hard Sauce (sprinkled with nutmeg) has been the inseparable companion for Mince Pie. As kids we silently measured the amount each person before us scooped onto the dessert plate fearing only dabs left for us. And I clearly remember my 6’4” brother in law coming from the kitchen with his very own bowl of Hard Sauce that he ate spoonful by spoonful until it vanished!

Extra Hard Sauce (a secretly made extra bowl disguised as mayonnaise and hidden in the back of the refrigerator) is my all time favorite Thanksgiving leftover.

Is it a healthful food? Are you kidding? What’s not healthy about butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and brandy!


  1. Although the texture of refrigerated butter becomes quite firm, “Hard” in the title refers to the alcohol.
  2. For a secret extra bowl, increase the recipe by half.


2 cups powdered sugar
2 sticks (½ #) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbs. brandy or dark rum
1 pinch ground nutmeg for garnish


  1. With an electric mixer or food processor, blend all ingredients except nutmeg until the mixture is light and almost fluffy.
  2. Transfer to a serving bowl (make swoosh marks on the top with a slightly wetted rubber spatula; it’s fun) sprinkle with nutmeg, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.


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