We started off July with a bang, literally – fireworks lighting up the sky as we celebrated our nation’s independence with ice cold brews and either burgers and dogs or clams and crabs, depending on your proximity to the coast.
Little did you know, you likely celebrated July’s lesser-known title not only on the 4th, but too many days to count afterward. July is national Ice Cream Month!
It’s a treat that’s hard to beat, especially when temperatures soar and we want to stay out of the kitchen as much as possible. While a double scoop in a sugar cone gets the job done, with entertaining opportunities abounding, you might be looking for an upgrade.
We’re sharing three ways to class up the iconic summertime dessert, depending on your clientele; rest assured all three recipes couldn’t be easier to put together. Consider this “cooking for the culinary challenged.”
For the Kids
Ice Cream Sandwiches
- 1-2 boxes thin, bakery sugar, chocolate chip or peanut butter cookies
- 1 pint ice cream
- Sides: rainbow sprinkles, crushed peanuts, mini chocolate chips, shredded coconut, graham cracker crumbs or toffee bits
- Scoop small amounts of ice cream and press evenly between two cookies. Immediately roll in toppings.
- Freeze sandwiches on waxed paper lined baking sheet until frozen solid – combine in freezer zip top bag.
- Let thaw 5-10 minutes before serving.
For the Family
Ice Cream Cake
- 10 store-bought Ice cream sandwiches (the classic rectangular shaped dessert)
- 4 c. Ice cream of choice, softened
- 1 Container Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafer Cookies
- 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 c. chocolate chips
- Line a 9×5 inch loaf pan (glass or metal both work) with a foil sling – fold foil so that it sits across the bottom and overhangs the side both lengthwise and widthwise.
- Wedge 5 ice cream sandwiches into the bottom of the pan, widthwise. I had to trim about an inch off of each one. They should fit as snuggly as possible.
- Place two cups of ice cream on top and smooth to evenly to edges.
- Top with remaining five sandwiches – no trimming this time as the pan gets wider as it goes up.
- Top with remaining ice cream and spread evenly across surface.
- Place about 10 cookies in a ziplock bag and smash to crumbs. Sprinkle across ice cream and press them in with your hands so they adhere.
- Cover with plastic wrap and freeze at least two hours or up to a week.
- In the mean time, make ganache (can be made hours or days ahead). Heat cream in a small saucepan until it bubbles. Remove from heat and pour over chocolate in a small mixing bowl. Stir until evenly combined. Let sit until cooled and store in the fridge. Microwave until spreadable when ready to use.
- When ready to eat, pull foil sling up and out of loaf pan. Put a serving plate up against the crumbs and flip over so the cake is sitting crumb-side-down on serving plate.
- Spread top (and sides if desired) with ganache, working quickly. Finish with cookies stuck diagonally across top of cake. Cut into slices and serve.
For the Adults
- 1 pint vanilla ice cream
- Hot brewed espresso or strong coffee
- Optional topping: Sambuca, Frangelico, freshly whipped cream, chocolate shavings or crushed, chocolate covered espresso beans
- Scoop vanilla into serving bowls
- Top with espresso or coffee
- Add liquor, cream, chocolate or coffee beans to taste.