Though September seemed to hesitantly meld into October, and “fall” officially arrived more than a week ago, we have are still enduring some really hot days. Almost everywhere I go people are complaining immensely about the heat. Those individual complaints and an exclamatory statement made by one of my good friends prompted me to write this column about “cool desserts.” You see my friend and I were having a chat after she returned from her granddaughter’s afternoon ballgame. Wiping the moisture from her brow, she exclaimed, “It is totally time for autumn but what does that mean in the coastal area of South Carolina … absolutely nothing! We were scorching in May and are still sweating profusely in October.” I fully agreed with her and promptly suggested we find an air conditioned place to finish our conversation and grab something really cool to ingest. She welcomed both suggestions … and I immediately knew that “ice cream desserts” would be my focus for this week.
Ice cream is as part of Americana as baseball and apple pie. But, there are times when you may want to treat your family and/or friends to a bit fancier dessert. The following fine-tuned versions of some of my old recipes take ice cream a few steps further. Try them if you don’t mind the extra work that they require.
Standard Oreo crust
(This crust is perfect for any flavor of ice cream pie.)
2 cups Oreo sandwich cookies, finely crushed
5 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Combine cookie crumbs and butter, stirring well. Press crumb mixture firmly over the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan. Bake this crust at 350 degrees for 6 minutes. Allow it to cool completely before filling it with your choice of ingredients.
Ice Cream Dessert
Caramel Sauce (recipe below)
1 quart chocolate ice cream, softened
1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened
5 (1.4-ounce) English toffee-flavored candy bars, crushed
Chocolate Sauce (recipe below)
1 quart coffee ice cream, softened
Prepare the standard crust. When it is completely cooled, spoon 1/2 cup Caramel Sauce over crust, leaving a 1-inch border. Freeze until set. Spread chocolate ice cream over Caramel Sauce. Freeze until firm. In a medium bowl, combine vanilla ice cream and crushed candy bars. Spread mixture over chocolate ice cream. Freeze until firm. Spread 1 cup Chocolate Sauce over vanilla ice cream. Freeze until set. Spread coffee ice cream over Chocolate Sauce. Cover tightly with Saran Wrap and freeze at least 8 hours. Remove the dessert from the freezer about 10 minutes before serving. Remove sides of the springform pan and slice dessert into wedges. This recipe yields 12 to 14 servings.
Cookies ‘n Cream
Ice Cream Pie
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1-1/2 quart cookies ‘n cream ice cream, softened
Chocolate Sauce (recipe below)
1 (8-ounce) container Cool Whip, thawed
4 tablespoons chopped pecans, lightly toasted (optional)
Prepare the standard crust. When it is completely cooled, spoon ice cream evenly over crust; cover with waxed paper and freeze. Remove from the freezer, remove the waxed paper, and spoon Chocolate Sauce over the ice cream. Freeze until firm. Spread whipped topping on top of the pie. Sprinkle with toasted pecans. Remove sides of springform pan and slice dessert into wedges. This recipe yields 12 to 14 servings.
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa and evaporated milk. Cook over medium heat until the sauce comes to a boil, stirring frequently. Immediately reduce the heat to low, and cook until thickened (about 5 minutes), stirring occasionally. Stir in the vanilla and butter. Let the sauce cool completely. This recipe yields 2/3 cup of Chocolate Sauce.
1/3 cup butter or margarine
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup half-and-half, divided
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a heavy saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, salt and 3/4 cup half-and-half. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. DO NOT BOIL. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and remaining half-and-half. Gradually stir this into the brown sugar mixture. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Stir in the vanilla. This recipe yields about 2 cups of Caramel Sauce.